Law enforcement investigating rise in stolen Kia, Hyundai vehicles

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 5:39 PM CDT
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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (KCTV) - A nationwide trend of stolen Kia and Hyundai vehicles is on the rise, including in the Kansas City metro.

Local law enforcement began tracking the ease in stealing certain models following social media videos and challenges.

“Starting in August of last year, we started to see a trend go up in the amount of either stolen or stolen and recovered vehicles,” IPD Public Information Officer Jack Taylor said. “Due to a spike at the same time of social media videos, social media posts, TikTok challenges.”

Since October of last year in Independence police have investigated 153 reports of stolen or recovered Kia or Hyundai vehicles.

For the time period of June-December, 2022, 619 Kia or Hyundai vehicles were reported stolen in Kansas City, Missouri.

“We are seeing a window being broke out of the vehicle or some other kind of damage being done to the vehicle to gain entry to the vehicle, and then the steering columns are compromised,” Taylor said.

Police are seeing a higher number of Kia and Hyundai vehicles being stolen from locations in southern Independence, near U.S. 40 Highway and Noland Road and U.S. 40 Highway and Sterling Avenue.

Most vehicles stolen in Independence were parked outside of a home or residence, or were in a parking lot.

“If you live in a house and you have access to a garage, or you live in an apartment and have access to a garage, put it in the garage so that nobody is able to tamper with it overnight,” Taylor said.

Law enforcement and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are asking car owners to contact Kia and Hyundai to see if there is an anti-theft software upgrade available for your vehicle. Hyundai vehicle owners can visit for details.

Vehicle owners can call Kia at 1-800-333-4542 for more information. Hyundai owners can call 1-800-633-5151.

Also read:

Hyundai, Kia recall vehicles due to fire risk (March 23, 2023)

From KMOV in St. Louis:

St. Louis County town giving free steering wheel locks to Kia, Hyundai owners

As Kia and Hyundai thefts spike in St. Louis, the companies say a fix is coming