CLEVELAND — 3News has reported in recent weeks about the growing rash of car thefts targeting Kia and Hyundai vehicles. We're now starting to see the numerical evidence of just how big the problem is from the Cuyahoga County Crime Strategies Unit.
A total of 842 Kia and Hyundai vehicles have been stolen within Cuyahoga County in the last two months. The majority of them, 674 to be exact, have happened in Cleveland between October and November.
Investigators say the thefts began with a social media trend on TikTok. Thieves break in, hotwire the car, and take off.
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"The ones we're really talking about are 2021 and prior," says Ryan Bokoch from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office. "The metal turn-key Kias and Hyundais, those are really the ones that are susceptible to being stolen like this."
Bokoch says the prosecutor's office is working with law enforcement to share information once there is an arrest. In the meantime, he is recommending that Kia and Hyundai owners invest in steering wheel locks.
You can ask your local police department for a free steering wheel lock. You can also find them on Amazon or at any auto shop.
Law enforcement agencies also want to remind you that with the holidays and family gatherings coming up, that will mean vehicles parked out on the streets. Plus, make sure you keep your car locked at all times.