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‘Kia Challenge’ from TikTok has sparked string of car thefts, police say

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By WLOS Staff

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — Asheville police are sounding the alarm about a social media trend that’s been encouraging young people to steal cars.

On their Facebook page, the Asheville Police Department (APD) says officers recovered four vehicles over the weekend in the Southside area that were stolen from the Montford area. All vehicles, they said, appeared to have been stolen in a way that’s been similar to a TikTok trend called the Kia Challenge.

“These videos are geared toward educating juveniles on how to steal a vehicle by ripping certain areas off from under the steering wheel and plugging a USB cord into the ignition to turn and start the engine,” APD said online. “Late model Kias and Hyundais are popular targets. Teenagers and young adults often steal them just to go on a joyride and end up abandoning the stolen vehicles.”

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The department says they’ve seen the number of vehicle thefts go up “as young people have learned how to steal cars from social media.”

APD shared the following tips to keep vehicles safe:

– Never leave your car running unattended, even to run into a business.

– Never leave any keys in the car or ignition.

– Always roll up your windows and lock your car, even if it is parked outside your home.

– Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked.

Anyone who sees anything suspicious is encouraged to call Asheville police at (828) 252-1110.

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