Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department’s Van Nuys Area and surrounding Valley Areas have been experiencing an increase in vehicle thefts.
Over the past few weeks, the Van Nuys area has experienced an increase in the theft of vehicles manufactured by KIA and Hyundai. For those unaware a “TikTok” challenge which went viral last year and introduced the country to the “KIA Boys”. This social media challenge explained in detail how to steal vehicles manufactured by these companies with minimum effort. It exposed a major flaw in the ignition systems utilizing a keyed switch. This had a major effect, increasing vehicle thefts exponentially, generating additional social media videos and lawsuits. KIA and Hyundai generated a software fix and sent out recalls for certain vehicles.
In an effort to prevent additional thefts, we would like to inform the public. If you own a vehicle which was manufactured by one of these companies and your vehicle has a keyed ignition switch, please contact your local dealership, and see if your vehicle qualifies for the software update and/or retrofit kit. Additionally, using an anti-theft device such as a steering wheel club in conjunction with the manufacturer’s update is an added deterrent. Some Los Angeles Police Department areas may have access to steering wheel clubs for these vehicles (KIA & Hyundai). Contact your local Los Angeles Police Department area police station for details.
Anyone with information on suspects stealing these vehicles, please contact Van Nuys Auto Detective Guy Pereira at (818) 374-0015 or (818) 374-0020. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.
Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.