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A new car theft trend called the “Kia Challenge” on social media has moved from the virtual realm to physical neighborhoods in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to local police.
The trend reportedly encourages teens and young adults to steal cars.
Essentially, people are breaking into these cars, taking apart the ignition, and starting the car with a phone charger (USB cord). Click the ? in our bio to find out what car owners can do to protect themselves. @vicmicolucci
Tulsa Police say the car theft trend started in the United States about 10 years ago, and it’s apparently just now taking place in the city.
The trend involves stealing Kia and Hyundai cars using USB cables.
“This is something that has increased immensely in the last year or two where we are seeing it a lot more. Because, like anything that goes viral, it is going to spread like wildfire,” said Tulsa Police Officer Andre Baul, according to News on 6.
In some cases, teens and young adults are stealing the cars, going for joyrides, and then abandoning or crashing the cars.
TikTok users claim to be victims of car theft “Kia Challenge”
Some on TikTok have made videos explaining the bizarre thefts, while other users have criticized them for the videos.
“Ok but why are u literally teaching us how to do it,” a user said in response to one video from user news4jax.
“Thanks for showing me exactly how to do it,” another user responded.
Meanwhile, some users have claimed the theft challenge only affects cars before 2021 that don’t have push-to-start.
In response to another Tiktok video, one user commented saying they were a victim of the theft and that their car hadn’t yet been found. Many other comments included users who claimed to be victims of the same kind of theft.
Tulsa police are warning residents to lock their doors, park in well-lit or high-traffic areas. They also say residents should get a steering wheel lock for their cars to combat the strange thefts.