Tik Tok trend inspires series of Kia and Hyundai thefts in South Bend

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A Tik Tok trend has sparked a concerning string of people stealing Kias and Hyundais. South Bend Police have seen a rise in car thefts since a Tik Tok video showed how to start a Kia with a USB phone charger.

Since the Tik Tok trend began, thefts of Kias and Hyundai vehicles have become more common. It took nearly a year for the trend to make it to South Bend.

Captain Jason Biggs of the South Bend Police Department has some ways to prevent this.

“It looks like, like I said, a year, year and a half that it moved into our area recently. We have seen a spike in Kia and Hyundai thefts not only in South Bend but in our neighboring jurisdictions with Mishawaka and county,” said Biggs.

The post has been taken down by Tik Tok, but the trend lives on. After talking to Kia owners in South Bend they are just hearing of the trend. Police have also found damaged Kias where someone attempted to steal it but gave up.

“Well some Kias have been damaged, but they were not stolen. Where the social media way didn’t work. Then we have seen where they are stolen,” Biggs said.

One solution is to invest in a steering wheel lock that you can find on Google or Amazon.

“Maybe having some sort of steering wheel lock, where you can lock your steering wheel. There are a variety of products out there if you just search Google or Amazon,” Biggs said.

Biggs’ biggest piece of advice is to have information about your car readily available.

“I just think it is important to make and model, year of your car. Basically, the information that is on your registration. If you could make a copy of that, so if anything does happen to your vehicle you have it relatively available to where you can give it to the police,” said Biggs.

The main things to remember are use a steering wheel lock, park in well-lit areas, keep doors locked at all times, keep personal belongings out of plain sight and report any suspicious activity to the South Bend Police Department.


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