Skyrocketing Car Thefts Traced to TikTok Trend, Police Say in New Warning

Skyrocketing Car Thefts Traced to TikTok Trend, Police Say in New Warning

Social media has its advantages, from holding your self knowledgeable to staying related with family and friends. TikTok is among the hottest platforms now, amassing 1.four billion customers worldwide. With so many customers, concepts and tendencies are capable of flow into quickly and even “go viral.” And whereas some tendencies have motivated folks to choose up enjoyable hobbies like baking bread or getting match, others could cause extra hurt. Now, one TikTok pattern has led to a spike in automobile thefts, in keeping with police throughout the nation. Learn on to search out out in case your car might be focused, and what you are able to do to guard your self.

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woman using tiktok
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TikTok tendencies additionally embody “challenges,” a subset of tendencies the place customers movie themselves finishing a sure process or motion. Earlier this summer time, police in Inexperienced Bay, Wisconsin, issued a warning about one among these challenges that concerned lifelike wanting toy splatter weapons. As a part of the problem, the gel splatter weapons had been used to shoot at others from vehicles and balconies, ABC30 Motion Information reported.

Each harmful and unlawful, police urged mother and father to pay attention to these toy weapons, as “they will nonetheless trigger harm or harm,” the Inexperienced Bay police acknowledged. In Clovis, California, an 18-year-old was arrested after taking pictures a gel pellet from a car whereas driving by a parking zone, and in one other occasion, a young person in Jackson, Mississippi, was killed in a “prank gone flawed” involving one among these weapons.

Now, one other TikTok problem has police involved, and this time, social media customers seem like deliberately inflicting hurt.

woman realizes car has been stolen from garage
Dragana Gordic / Shutterstock

Police nationwide are warning the general public a few rise in automobile thefts, which they are saying is because of a TikTok pattern that demonstrates how easy sure vehicles are to steal. Based on WPXI-TV, the pattern is primarily being carried out by youngsters, who use USB cables to start out and steal the automobiles.

“You have heard of all these challenges, issues which can be very harmful,” Jesse Minton, spokesperson for the Arlington Police Division in Texas, advised ABC affiliate WFAA.

In a transfer that appears counterintuitive, the thieves will truly movie themselves breaking into vehicles and submit them on TikTok. “They get, , road cred, and just a little little bit of consideration,” Sergeant Cody Lance of the St. Petersburg Police Division in Florida advised the Tampa Bay Instances.

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kia car in lot
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock

Police warning that sure makes are being focused, particularly Kia and Hyundai automobiles. Based on the Miami Herald, the TikTok pattern has been dubbed the “Kia Problem,” and automobiles had been not too long ago reported stolen in a number of states, together with Kentucky, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Minnesota, and Virginia. The pattern started in Milwaukee, however because of social media, different elements of the nation have now seen copycat crimes.

“A collaborative group began out in Milwaukee, and it is spreading throughout the nation the place they’re capable of take these automobiles just by utilizing a cellphone charging cable and utilizing that to start out the car,” Tom Huerbin, Pittsburgh Police Sergeant, advised WPXI-TV, noting that over 15,000 automobiles have been stolen within the Milwaukee space.

In Norfolk, Virginia, a 35 % improve in Kia and Hyundai thefts was seen between July 1 and July 17, the Norfolk Police Division (NPD) confirmed to the information outlet WAVY. In Pittsburgh, 15 automobiles had been stolen utilizing USB cables—up from 5 that had been reported in June, Huerbin advised WPXI-TV. “So clearly it is on the rise within the space right here, so it is of some concern,” he mentioned. “And we need to make folks conscious of that.”

hyundai logo on steering wheel
Roman Vyshnikov / Shutterstock

Hyundai and Kia have issued statements concerning the uptick in thefts, with each producers including that their automobiles “meet or exceed Federal Motor Car Security Requirements,” per the Miami Herald and WPXI-TV.

“The protection and well-being of our prospects and the neighborhood is and can stay our prime precedence,” the assertion from Hyundai reads. Kia confirmed that as of the 2022 mannequin yr, “all Kia automobiles have an engine immobilizer fitted as normal,” whereas Hyundai mentioned all of their “new” automobiles have these immobilizers as “normal tools.”

TikTok additionally addressed issues concerning the pattern, stating, “Content material that promotes or allows prison exercise, together with theft, is in opposition to our Neighborhood Pointers and shall be faraway from the platform,” per the Miami Herald. In case you use TikTok and see one among these movies, you must also report them by clicking the white arrow to the proper of the video, then deciding on “Report” and “Unlawful actions” as the explanation, in keeping with Newsweek.

READ THIS NEXT: Do not Fill Up Your Fuel Tank With out Doing This First, Police Now Warn.

A senior man holding a smartphone with a concerned look on his face

Police departments are asking automobile homeowners to pay attention to these challenges, significantly those that drive newer Kia and Hyundai fashions. Kia automobiles made after 2015 and Hyundai automobiles made after 2011 are in danger, in keeping with the NPD (by way of WAVY), as they’ve a “vulnerability” that lets thieves begin them with a USB wire after eradicating the steering column.

Along with normal security practices like parking your automobile in well-lit areas and holding your doorways locked always, police are asking that you just take further warning by investing in a steering wheel lock bar or safety digital camera. You may also attempt parking your automobile nearer to your house, Minton advised WFAA, and keep away from leaving your keys within the automobile or operating if you’re not in it.

Each Kia and Hyundai advised the Miami Herald that prospects can attain out to them with questions and issues. You may attain Kia customer support at 1-800-333-4552, and you’ll name Hyundai customer support at 800-633-5151.

Initially Revealed by – Abby Reinhard

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Written by Harry Rosen

Harry Rosen is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author.

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