Richland County deputies give out free locks to curb Kia and Hyundai car thefts

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 9:42 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced deputies are giving out front wheel locks for Kia and Hyundai models to the public for free.

Lott said the initiative is to prevent the thefts of those particular models after a challenge on social media showed how to steal them.

Deputies stated a variety of Kia and Hyundai models from 2010-2022 with a key start are affected.

According to Lott, thefts of those models in the area have been “off the charts.”

As of May 21, RCSD reported 48 stolen Hyundai and Kia vehicles in 2023 in comparison to 10 reports in that same time period of 2022.

RCSD added these figures do not reflect the number of attempted vehicle thefts of those models.

To get a free lock, Lott said to show your Kia or Hyundai key at Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) headquarters located at 5623 Two Notch Road.

RCSD also gave some other tips to deter thieves.

Those include:

  • include installing motion-activated dash cameras
  • placing an air tag or tracking device on the vehicle
  • parking inside a garage when possible

RCSD also said Hyundai and Kia are working on a software update that would fix the problem.

They urged citizens to contact their vehicle manufacturer for more information on the eligibility of their cars.

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