The ‘Kia Boyz’ Are in Michigan: Here’s How to Protect Your Car
Thefts of certain models of Kia and Hyundai vehicles are up exponentially throughout the nation, including here in Michigan, ever since videos went viral on TikTok earlier this year showing exactly how easy it is to break in and steal them.
A Lansing woman who wishes to remain anonymous told us her Kia was stolen not once, but twice. Police told her that about half the auto theft cases they've worked in the past few months have involved Kias. Growing numbers of stolen Kias and Hyundais have been reported in the Detroit and Grand Rapids areas as well, including a brazen break-in at a dealership in Southfield.
What Exactly Is the 'Kia Boyz' Challenge?
YouTube user Tommy G interviewed members of the 'Kia Boyz', who showed him how to start the cars using a simple USB cable. The method takes advantage of certain Kia and Hyundai models manufactured between 2010 and 2021 that don't have built-in anti-theft devices called immobilizers.
The cars are most often stolen by teenagers, some too young to legally drive. They joyride in the cars recklessly, careful to film their escapades for social media, and often leave the vehicles totaled.
How Not to Be a Victim of the 'Kia Boyz' Challenge
While there's no foolproof way to prevent your Kia or Hyundai or any other vehicle from being stolen, there are things you can do to lessen the likelihood that you'll be a target.
- Park in a garage. You've been meaning to clean it out anyway; now you've got a good reason. Authorities say parking inside is one of the easiest ways to prevent your car from being a target for thieves. If a garage isn't available, park in the most well-lit area you can.
- There are after-market products available to enhance your vehicle's security. You can upgrade your car to a keyless entry system, or utilize a steering wheel locking bar.
- Install a vehicle immobilizer system and/or tracking system. The tracking system option may not prevent your car from becoming a target, but may help police locate it before the thieves have a chance to do irreparable damage.