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With auto thefts on the rise, authorities say criminals are targeting both KIA and Hyundai models the most

Criminal Defense Law Center West Michigan
Criminal Defense Law Center West Michigan
Generic picture of a car being stolen.

Cars are being stolen, and then used in other crimes, says Combined Auto Theft Team.

With the number of vehicle thefts on the rise, law enforcement in the Greater Grand Rapids area is warning drivers of KIA's and Hyundai's to be particularly cautious, as the cars are the most commonly stolen and often then used in more serious crimes.

According to the The Combined Auto Theft Team, a group made up of law enforcement officers from Grand Rapids, Wyoming and Kentwood both types of cars are more easier to steal than other makes and models.

Officials say, after getting into the car with or without force, thieves dismantle the steering column, override the ignition system, and manually turn the car on before taking off with it.

On Monday, the Combined Auto Theft Team issued a number of safety tips for drivers, including Parking in well-lit areas near buildings and/or cameras, and in a garage if possible.

Officials say the thefts are typically happening from 1am-4am, and the thieves can be extremely dangerous, so do not attempt to interact with them, but rather call 911.

Tips to be safe:

• Park in well-lit areas near buildings and/or cameras

• Park in a garage if possible

• Always remove valuables from your vehicle

• Always lock your vehicle

• Activate the alarm system on your vehicle

• Use a locking mechanism on your vehicle (column collars, steering wheel locks or brake locks)

• If you have home surveillance cameras, park in the camera view if possible

• If you see something, say something - report all suspicious activity

These thieves can be extremely dangerous, so do not attempt to interact with them.

Report suspicious activity and crimes while they are happening by calling 911. To report suspicious activity or crimes after the fact, call your local law enforcement’s non-emergency line. You can also submit an anonymous tip through Silent Observer at 616.774.2345 or SilentObserver.org.

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