Kia and Hyundai owners beware: a group of teen car thieves is back to their destructive ways. The Midwest menaces have been breaking into and stealing cars for years, specifically Kia Sportage and Optimas from years 2012 to 2022 and Hyundais with standard key ignitions.

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WZZM did a story on the group in 2022, highlighting that the teens steal the cars for no other reason than they know how to. They've learned how to hotwire the cars via TikTok, sometimes committing other crimes in the cars before ditching them. But, as of this week, the group is still up to no good. Two separate posts (here and below) in the r/grandrapids subreddit indicate multiple different victims of attempted carjackings, both Kia owners.

Kia boys
byu/andrewwwcantu ingrandrapids

The Kia Boyz abuse a design flaw that allows the cars to be hotwired using only a USB cable. Kia has released an update to stop the exploit that the Boyz have been using to hijack the cars, which does stop the car from being stolen but doesn't stop the carjacker from damaging the car.

Car thief, car theft

In an attempt to curb these thefts, The Grand Rapids Police Department has begun hosting free upgrade events after 1,400 cars were stolen in GR in 2022. According to a report by The Spotlight, Kias make up 49% of all car thefts in Grand Rapids.



Other ways you can protect your car are to:

  • Buy a steering wheel lock
  • Lock your car
  • Make sure the alarm is on
  • Park in well-lit areas or garage
  • Use camera surveillance systems

If you come across a hijacking, proceed with caution as the teens have been known to be armed and dangerous.

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