The Los Angeles Police Department is warning drivers of Hyundai and Kia vehicles to be aware of continued car thefts spurred by an ongoing social media trend.
The trend started on the social media video platform TikTok, which showed people how to bypass a critical security function to allow the vehicles to be started without keys. The trend led to a massive surge of thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles across the country last year.
On Thursday, officials from the LAPD said similar thefts of the same make of automobiles have been reported in the Van Nuys area in recent weeks.
To combat the rise in thefts, Kia and Hyundai have rolled out some software updates and issued recalls for affected vehicles. Police are urging anyone who owns a vehicle from Kia or Hyundai to be aware of the theft risks, and contact the manufacturers to see if their vehicle is susceptible to theft and eligible for security fixes.
Police also encourage additional safety measures for these vehicles, including utilizing a steering wheel club, which can lock a steering wheel in place, making it near-impossible to drive off in without unlocking the club.
Some police stations might have steering wheel clubs for these specific makes on hand, according to the LAPD.
Anyone with information about the recent thefts in the San Fernando Valley is urged to contact Van Nuys Auto Detective Guy Pereira at 818-374-0015. Anonymous tips can be submitted online or by calling 1-877-527-3247.