Two auto makes are at center of car-theft craze, sheriff says

WBBM News Radio
WBBM News Radio

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Carjackings have been a problem in Chicago for awhile, but now authorities are seeing a huge increase in car thefts targeting two different makes — a spike fueled by social media.

About a month ago, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says he started seeing a big increase in the thefts of Kias and Hyundais.

“And we couldn’t figure it out at first, and then very quickly we came to find out that it had become sort of a social media craze where there was on multiple different sites: How to steal a Kia, a challenge. Can you do it within 30 seconds? Can you beat this person?”

Dart said it involves cracking the steering column open and using a USB cord to plug into the spot where the key would normally go.

Since July 1, in Cook County, including the city of Chicago, there have been 642 reported thefts of Kias and Hyundais. During the same period last year, there were 74 thefts of those makes.

Dart says it’s not just Cook County. It’s a nationwide crime trend, thanks to social media posts.

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