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Stolen Kia used in robbery Sunday night

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The Kent County Sheriff’s Office says it’s looking for a purse-snatching-thief who robbed a 70-year-old woman Sunday night. Meanwhile, authorities say, it’s another crime involving a stolen Kia

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, at roughly 7pm Sunday evening, a “younger male suspect in a winter coat” ran up to a 70-year-old woman in the parking lot and grabbed her purse from her shopping cart while she unloaded groceries into the car.

Authorities say the suspect then escaped in a Kia that had been reported stolen before making transactions with the victim’s credit cards at nearby stores.

It’s the latest in a disturbing trend of crimes where a stolen Kia is used as the getaway vehicle.

It all started on the popular social media site known as TikTok. Two masked young men known as the Kia Boys demonstrate in a video how to easily hotwire and start Kia and Hyundai vehicles that use a key ignition, without the key.

Since then, the video has gone viral and has led to a surge of Kia thefts across the country. Authorities say in Grand Rapids alone, there have been over 600 Kia thefts since April. Police say the cars are often used in more serious crimes before being ditched or wrecked.

Meanwhile, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office says anyone with information on the purse snatching should call 616-632-6125.

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