COLUMBUS, Ohio — Car thefts in Columbus compared to this time last year are up nearly 1,000 reports and about one-third of the reports involve a Kia or a Hyundai.
CrimeTracker 10 has followed this crime trend since January. The cars, police say, are targeted because they are easy to steal. The basic models have a key and don't have an anti-theft component that Kia says was added to its newer models.
From January 2021 to June 2021, Columbus police said they received 3,166 reports of stolen vehicles, 337 were Hyundai or Kia models. There were 4,190 vehicles reported stolen in Columbus during the same time frame this year, 1,545 were Hyundais or Kias.
Kyle Craft was unaware of the uptick in thefts involving the make of his vehicle. He woke up one morning to find only broken glass where he parked his Kia Soul outside his apartment in northwest Columbus.
“It's honestly pretty crazy to me that this is allowed to be going on," Craft said about the thefts.
Craft's car was recovered but the thieves crashed it, and police found it on its side.
“I love that car, so it was very upsetting to me,” Craft said. “You feel so violated after that.”
Police say if you own one of those models, the best thing you can do is to purchase a steering wheel locking device. Additionally, police advise vehicle owners to try to park in a well-lit area, to keep doors locked at all times and to consider aftermarket alarm systems or anti-theft devices.