ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The St. Petersburg Law enforcement Division gave out no cost steering wheel locks to specific car or truck entrepreneurs as they keep on to answer to a significant amount of Hyundai and Kia vehicle thefts over the last several months. All have been provided away inside a day.
Hyundai Motor Enterprise sent the department about 100 anti-theft steering wheel locks. Regardless of technically becoming for Hyundai homeowners, officers reported they will give them to Kia owners far too. That is for the reason that in just the very last two weeks – a 3rd of their theft calls have been for the two brands.
Alissa Brinkley, one particular of the auto theft victims, said her 2019 Kia Sportage was included in a hit-and-operate crash more than the weekend, but she wasn’t the driver. She had no thought her automobile was taken from the entrance yard of her St. Pete home wherever she previous parked it right up until she obtained a get in touch with from the law enforcement.
“I woke up at 1:23ish with the officer expressing ‘do I know exactly where my car or truck is?’ and I mentioned, ‘yes, outside the house.’ He reported, ‘No, ma’am, it just isn’t…it can be on the corner of 41st and Fairfield.’ It has been in an accident, and it appears like you never even know that it is absent, so it truly is stolen’…it was like a poor desire,” Brinkley recalled.
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The vehicle now sits at an impound whole lot, and Brinkley immediately observed how it was stolen when she acquired a glimpse of the injury.
“I seemed within, and the ignition was gone,” she reported.
Sgt. Cody Lance with SPPD handles automobile thefts and stated Brinkley is not the only Kia or Hyundai owner who has recently had their phone stolen. It truly is a call they’ve responded to usually just in the past couple of weeks for equally car or truck makes.
“Twelve of our last 36 thefts or attempted thefts have been Kia or Hyundai’s in which the ignition was broken,” Sgt. Lance included.
He believes robbers are making use of a method to crack into the steering column, putting precise designs at danger.
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“It is really Hyundai’s produced right before 2022 that use a metal essential and ignition. It is really not the thrust to start off designs,” he said.
Sgt. Lance stated they’ve been able to obtain some of these vehicle intruders. They have been juveniles among 14 and 17 many years previous. They haven’t positioned the person dependable for stealing Brinkley’s motor vehicle nevertheless. Presently, she’s remaining to obtain rides to get the job done and make preparations for her young children to go to college.
“You’re having a aspect of someone’s lifestyle, and it has obtained to halt. It has to end,” Brinkley mentioned. “Folks get the job done hard for the items they have. Very challenging.”
The office is hoping these wheel locks will put drivers’ minds a minor a lot more at simplicity. The hope is for a prospective thief to see the steering wheel and not want to try to split in.