Thursday, October 6

A viral challenge teaches on TikTok how to start cars without the key and robberies skyrocket in Chicago

The hashtag used is “Kia Boyz” and the social network is TikTok. What do the videos contain? Lessons on how to start a Kia or Hyundai brand vehicle without the keys and using the metal end of a USB cable or mobile charger. The result, only in the Chicago area (United States), is that the thefts of these cars have shot up almost 800% since the beginning of July, compared to the same period last year.

“Thefts have increased by 767% due to the challenge that has become fashionable on TikTok,” reads a Chicago 15th Precinct Police statement. “The challenge consists of a lesson dedicated to young people that explains step by step how to steal these vehicles,” says the Police, who reiterate that it is an incitement to crime.

@tandcars #kia #hyendai #kiaboyz #هيونداي #كيا #سرقة ♬ الصوت الأصلي – أحمد الحربي

In TikTok you can find dozens of videos with the label #kiaboys or #kiaboyz but only in some cases does a dissuasive message appear: “By participating in this activity, you could harm yourself or others”. The content

Police data collect a total of 643 thefts from Kia or Hyundai brand cars between July 1 and mid-August. In 2021, on the same dates, there were 74. The authorities of several cities in the country have alerted the owners of these vehicles to “be alert” and take additional security measures to prevent theft. In St. Petersburg, Florida, robberies are up 40% since mid-July. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, there have been more than 3,500 robberies this year, an average of 23 a day.

“This is a very worrying trend and citizens need to be aware of it so they can protect themselves,” the Cook County Sheriff, to which the city of Chicago belongs, said in a statement this week. Among the recommendations of the police is to always park in well-lit or heavily traveled areas, to have the vehicle insured or to remove the ignition key whenever the car is left, even for a moment, with the steering wheel locked and fully closed.

According to the newspaper USAToday, the thefts mainly affect Kia models after 2011 and Hyundai models from 2015 onwards. The two companies assured in a statement to the US newspaper that all their vehicles meet US safety standards and that they are “aware” of the increase in thefts at the local level in the country.

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