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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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TikTok Videos Apparently Train Car Thieves

Crime

Tik Tok Logo on Phone | Image by Shutterstock

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As more and more cars are being stolen or broken into locally, some law enforcement authorities point the finger at the popular social media app TikTok.

Videos making the rounds on the platform reportedly walk viewers through how to steal Kia and Hyundai vehicles. Their popularity rise appears to correspond to an uptick in break-ins and car stealing.

The apparent thieves successfully bypass the ignition system using a USB cable, gaining access to the vehicle. Some videos appeared to show the allegedly stolen cars being taken for joyrides before the driver crashed or abandoned them. In response to these TikToks, people began calling it the “Kia Challenge.”

Arlington police spokesman Jesse Minton explained that the TikTok challenges “are very dangerous.”

Minton said, “When a certain model car is hardly ever stolen and now all of a sudden, we see five or 10 in a month,” that hits their “auto theft crew’s radar.”

Police recommended that residents with Kias newer than 2015 or Hyundai cars made after 2011 take additional security precautions to prevent potential thefts. Some suggestions included installing a kill switch or alarm system, parking near their residence, always taking their keys, and locking the doors.

The DFW area is not the only place where the new TikTok challenge has become a significant issue. The police department in Norfolk, Virginia, reported a 35% increase in thefts of Kias and Hyundais during the first two weeks of July.

Almost 200 cars have been stolen over the past few weeks in Charlotte, North Carolina, many of them the models in question.

The thefts led police to advise residents to use layering — that is, use several different types of anti-theft measures simultaneously — to better protect their vehicles. Simple layers suggested included locking the vehicle and killing the ignition rather than leaving the engine running.

TikTok encouraged app users to report videos showing viewers how to steal a car using the USB method and actively took down posts that fit the description.    

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caseyp
caseyp
2 months ago

Chinese TicToc should be banned. It’s no good.