Fresno woman targeted by Kia car thieves, part of social media trend

The Fresno Police Department says there has been a spike in Kia and Hyundai thefts compared to this same time last year.

Nic Garcia Image
Thursday, August 31, 2023
Fresno woman targeted by Kia car thieves, part of social media trend
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A TikTok trend in which people show how easy it is to break in to certain Kia and Hyundai cars has been circulating for several months.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A TikTok trend in which people show how easy it is to break in to certain Kia and Hyundai cars has been circulating for several months.

It appears to have made it to Central California.

Alexis Tate told Action News she saw the videos on social media months ago but never imagined her car would be targeted.

Tate said thieves broke into her Kia sedan on Sunday and tried to take the car.

Thankfully for Tate, her car recently got the update from Kia, which prevents the car from being stolen.

But the thieves did take things out of the car.

"My bank card, Apple watch, just a whole bunch of little materialistic things," said Tate.

The Fresno Police Department says there has been a spike in Kia and Hyundai thefts compared to this same time last year.

So far this year, 118 Kia Optimas have been broken into or stolen.

Thieves have also targeted 106 Hyundai Elantras and 81 Hyundai Sonatas this year.

Over the weekend in Visalia, five people were arrested for trying to steal Kia and Hyundai cars.

Back in May, 22 teenagers were arrested for the same thing.

Kia sent Action News this statement, saying in part it is "willing to work cooperatively with law enforcement agencies around the country to combat car theft and the role social media has played in encouraging it, and we remain committed to supporting our customers and to vehicle security."

The company says it has sent notices to more than 3 million Kia owners, warning them of the theft and encouraging them to take their cars in for a software update.

So far, 660,000 cars nationwide have received that update.

To learn more about what Kia is doing to help prevent theft, visit this site.

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