The New York Polie Department (NYPD) recently warned about the TikTok Auto Theft Challenge, which shows how easy it is to steal some Hyundai and Kia models. Now ironically, a Kia Optima sedan owned by NYPD got stolen, which appears to be connected to the same social media trend. Not only that, the perpetrators took the car for a spin and crashed it as well.
New York Post reports that a group of four people stole an unmarked Kia Optima sedan, which was an undercover vehicle owned by the NYPD. The report claims that the thieves took the car on a lengthy joyride. The car reportedly was equipped with a tracking device that helped the authorities to track its location. A chase ensued, and the Kia crashed in the Bronx. The car reportedly struck multiple parked vehicles and a barrier. It also claimed that no arrests were made in the incident and all four thieves fled on foot.
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NYPD issued a warning a few days ago that the owners of the Kia and Hyundai vehicles should use a steering wheel lock and install a kill switch or a battery disconnector to prevent theft. Clearly, its own undercover officers were not paying heed to that, which resulted in the police car being stolen.
The report claims that authorities believe the theft was inspired by the social media trend, which started in Milwaukee and quickly became a national problem across the US. The menace became so viral that earlier this month, several groups pushed for YouTube to remove videos that provide detailed instructions about how to steal a car. These videos reportedly helped the perpetrators to steal several vehicles in recent times, resulting in an increased number of thefts.
First Published Date: 26 Jan 2023, 16:35 PM IST