CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The viral social media “Kia Challenge” has made its way into the Charlotte area.
Almost 200 cars have been stolen within the past two weeks, according to CMPD.
The trend originated from TikTok and encourages users to turn on Kia cars with a USB cord, leading to thefts and vandalism.
CMPD says that of the reported 81 auto theft incidents in the last week, 24 were Kia/Hyundai makes. That combines for 30% of all auto theft incidents.
All of the attempted thefts damaged the steering/ignition, directly linking those break-ins to the new social media challenge.
More charts from CMPD show precisely where the thefts took place.
Officials say that most of these thefts involve juveniles who are targeting all sorts of cars, but data shows there have been more Kia’s and Hyundai’s stolen.
Thieves are targeting 2008 models and newer ones as those cars don’t have keys.