From October through Dec 6, 2022, Golden Valley police have taken close to 18 stolen vehicle reports, with 95 percent being Kias and Hyundais. Golden Valley Police Chief Virgil Green encourages owners of these vehicles to invest in anti-theft devices and GPS tracking technologies.
Officers report the vehicles were stolen from driveways and large apartment parking lots primarily between midnight and 5 am by groups of people who drive around in one car and then target specific areas and vehicles.
“We’re seeing a shift from thefts of vehicles with keys left inside to vehicles being targeted due to a manufacturing issue,” says Police Chief Virgil Green. “The cars are typically broken into through a rear window and driven away without keys.”
Green explained that teenagers are specifically targeting Kias and Hyundais because a vulnerability in earlier models is being shared on social media. “TikTok videos are showing these groups of teenagers how to steal the vehicles in a matter of seconds or minutes,” adds Green. “Most, if not all, of these vehicles are later recovered by other agencies.”
“This isn’t just a Golden Valley problem,” says Green. “Many other Twin Cities police departments have been dealing with it for months. We are encouraging those who own these types of vehicles to contact a local Kia or Hyundai dealership to see if they can purchase some type of anti-theft device and to invest in a GPS tracking device that will help law enforcement locate the stolen vehicle more quickly.”