Kent County Sheriff's Office urges caution as car thefts continue in Grand Rapids and beyond
Hundreds of cars stolen this year, hundreds last year as well
The Kent County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) is warning car owners in Grand Rapids to be careful, after two more vehicles were reported stolen Thursday morning.
Authorities say the surge of stolen cars in Grand Rapids continues, as there have been over 200 reported thefts this year alone, and nearly 360 last year.
The KCSO Thursday urged car owners to be smart and remain vigilant, lock up your vehicle, even if you are returning in a short period of time.
Behind the data is the unprecedented rise in stolen Kia and Hyundai cars due to a now viral video on the social media site, TikTok.
In the video, two masked young men who call themselves the “Kia Boys” demonstrated how easily to hotwire a Hyundai or Kia vehicle. Since then, over a thousand have been stolen—and many thieves have gotten so proficient, they are able to hotwire the car in under 2 minutes.
Back in May, authorities said a woman’s KIA SUV was stolen between the time she had parked the car in front of her house and brought her young child in before coming back out to retrieve her groceries.
Police say in that short amount of time her car had vanished.
The rise in stolen KIA and Hyundai cars, however, is not unique to West Michigan, but rather is happening all over the country.