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Kia boys with a badge: Two STL County police officers responsible for recovering 150+ stolen Kias and Hyundais

<i>KMOV</i><br/>Two St. Louis County police officers are taking on the Kia boys
Two St. Louis County police officers are taking on the Kia boys

By Melanie Johnson

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    ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Missouri (KMOV) — Two St. Louis County police officers are taking on the Kia boys, one recovered car at a time.

In the past year, the pair has found 177 stolen Kias and Hyundais.

“In Missouri, I don’t think I’ve seen so many people so boldly go to social media and post videos of themselves doing illegal activity and stealing from other people,” says St. Louis County police officer Andrew Jones.

“We’re two officers in a massive department, in a huge state but we took it upon ourselves to just make sure we could do what we could do and stop these people,” says St. Louis County police officer, Justin Kiem.

In 2022, Officer Kiem recovered 76 stolen Hyundais and Kias and his partner, Officer Jones located 101.

“A house that was vacant at the time that was being fixed up and behind it was a large shed that was probably 30 foot by 30 foot and we found six cars all stashed in there,” says Kiem. “They were packed in there like sardines.”

The duo’s efforts are paying off.

St. Louis County police tell News 4 the amount of stolen Hyundais and Kias dropped in 2023.

A spokesperson says there were 102 Hyundais taken in July 2022 versus 49 in July of this year and 127 stolen Kias last year compared to 36 in 2023.

“Being persistent, consistent and experienced is really the only way officers get proficient at spotting these cars,” Jones says.

“We start going to our spots where we find it all the time and if we don’t find it there it’s probably somewhere close,” says Kiem.

While the number of thefts has declined, the officers tell News 4 what remains the same are the suspect’s age range.

“Most of the age gap is probably between 13 and 17,” Kiem says.

“Things are going to catch up to them and it’s just a matter of time,” Jones says.

Both officers received awards from the St. Louis County Police Department for their dedication to combatting the uptick in stolen Hyundais and Kias.

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