Social media theft challenge targets KIA and Hyundai vehicles

Woman’s Hyundai stolen, vehicle dumped about a mile from her home

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police say they are aware of a social media challenge that targets certain vehicle makes and models -- specifically Kias and Hyundais.

Ashley Santos felt violated after her Hyundai was stolen and then recovered a few days later. It was trashed, dented, and dumped about a mile away from her home.

“I’m just thankful I got it back, but it doesn’t feel like my car anymore,” she said

The car has a broken window where the thieves broke into it.

A short clip from Santos’ dash camera shows the suspect talking to another suspect in a different Hyundai with a broken window.

It wasn’t until after Santos called her insurance company that she discovered the theft might be linked to a national social media challenge that targets certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

The online challenge shows people how to break into a faulty ignition system without a key.

Santos wanted to warn other Kia and Hyundai owners about the trend and urge them to take steps to protect themselves.

Chad Miller, with Chad Miller Auto Services, said he was made aware of the problem about a week ago after several customers called.

“Last week, we had about seven different clients call between Thursday and Friday, asking (if) we repair ignition locks because they’ve been subjected to that,” Miller said.

He said it could cost a few hundred to thousands of dollars to make the repairs. But the problem is the shortage of parts could delay repairs for some.

San Antonio police released the list of the top most stolen vehicles:

List provided by San Antonio Police. (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

San Antonio police offer the following suggestions:

  • Lock your car – take your keys, approximately 60% of vehicles stolen are left unlocked
  • Take your keys – never hide a second set of keys in or on your vehicle, they are easily found
  • Hide – your belongings from sight to avoid attracting thieves
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle
  • Do not leave firearms in your vehicle
  • Park in well-lit areas or attended lots
  • Park in secure locations like a garage or parking structure
  • Never leave your vehicle running, even if you are gone for a minute
  • Do not leave your registration, title, or insurance card in your vehicle
  • Use a steering wheel club
  • Install your own GPS tracking system
  • Install a kill switch

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About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

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