CENTRAL TEXAS (FOX 44/KWKT) — When you lock your car doors, make sure you lock them twice and take any important items out! That is how you stay vigilant when it comes to car thefts.
“Vehicle thefts for year to date this time compared to last year were actually down by 15%. However, we are seeing an increase, if you want to call it in. Thefts involving Kia vehicles,” says Waco Police Department Public Information Officer, Cierra Shipley.
The city has seen up to 30 cases targeting Kia’s due to a social media trend.
The Killeen Police Department is also combating the rise.
“The vehicle thefts have increased largely because of a nationwide challenge. It started off as a tick tock challenge for Kia and Hyundai thefts,” says Killeen Police Department Sargent Zachary Bias.
Sgt. Bias says it is still prevalent across the nation.
Chris Fryar, Shop Foreman with University Kia Motors explains how these thefts happen.
“They break out the window to gain entry to the car. Then they disassemble the steering column and they’re able to start in the vehicle without the key.”
Fryar also says there are preventative measures to combat those break-ins.
“We update the software and the car so that the car can’t be started without the key present. With the caveat that the doors have to be locked. So as long as the doors are locked, the vehicle won’t start, unless the keys present.”
The process to install the safety feature is free of cost and takes up to 30 minutes.
If you are unsure whether you fall under the Kia product recall, you can visit here.
Both police departments also say to report any crimes you may see happening.