Crime continues to be a problem in the City of Utica and it's not just the gun violence. Utica Police are now warning of a new crime wave that is affecting certain vehicle owners.

A Warning to Hyundai and Kia Drivers

Hyundai And Kia Recall 1.9 Million Vehicles In U.S. For Airbag And Brake Light Problems
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If you own a Hyundai or Kia you will want to pay attention to this warning.

Police officials say they are seeing a huge increase in thefts of those makes with key starters (non-key fob). The whole idea for these criminals, according to police, came from the internet on social media videos.

There was even a TikTok challenge going around called the "Kia Challenge."

Essentially, the video educated people how to bypass security features in the steering column to start the car and drive off.

Of course this is a problem across the country, but has recently been shown to be prevalent in Utica.

Increasing Crime in Central New York

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Utica Police are offering tips on how to prevent your vehicle from being stolen, especially if you own a Kia or Hyundai. Police say:

One way to prevent these incidents, if you own these vehicles, is to purchase a steering wheel locking device so that the vehicle may not be operated without its removal. Additionally, Kia and Hyundai have updated the vehicle’s software to prevent such thefts.

Police are also encouraging anyone who believes their vehicle is one that can easily be stolen based on these starter features to contact your dealership to see if there is something that can be done to override those issues.

As of 2024, it is believed that manufacturers have created solutions to this problem in newer models and software updates.

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