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Kia, Hyundai Vehicles Targeted In Recent Thefts: Park Forest Police

Apr 20, 2023

PARK FOREST, IL — Park Forest Police are warning car owners about a recent trend in car theft that has suspects targeting specific makes of vehicle. Police last week reported the theft or attempted theft of several Hyundai and Kia vehicles within Village limits, which could be related to a common pattern nationwide.

Thieves are targeting specific vehicles due to a lack of a push-button start that makes it easier to hot wire the car, police said.

The trend has been "exploding in recent weeks as social media information went viral outlining the methods to exploit an apparent security issue with select 2011-2021 Kia and 2015-2021 Hyundai vehicles."

Kias, specifically, are the latest target of a social media challenge, dubbed "Kia Boyz" or "Kia Challenge, aimed at stealing cars. Word is spreading on online platforms, including TikTok, that it's possible to steal certain cars — specifically some Kia and Hyundai models — using a USB charging cord, according to Auto Blog.

The Will County Sheriff's Office also said the "Kia Challenge" may be related to the theft of two Kias in the Plainfield area and the attempted theft of a third earlier this week.

Park Forest Police have also recovered several vehicles that had been stolen from nearby communities. In the incidents where witnesses were present, the offenders are described as young teenage males, some appearing as young as 12 or 13 years old.

Park Forest Police via social media advised owners of these cars to take extra precautions.

Patch Editor Emily Rosca contributed to this report.

Lauren Traut