SBPD encourages Kia, Hyundai owners to be vigilant against theft

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The South Bend Police Department announced on Thursday that it is urging residents to remain extra vigilant against auto thefts as the department investigates a rash of Kias being stolen all over the city.

"Over the past several weeks, our department has recorded multiple thefts or attempted thefts of newer model Kia vehicles. Some of those stolen vehicles have since been recovered," SBPD Public Information Officer Ashely O'Chap. "You may recall an alert we issued in 2022 after a viral video emerged, demonstrating a technique that makes it easier for thieves to steal newer model Kia and Hyundai vehicles."

Authorities say that since that alert, both automakers have rolled out theft deterrent software for millions of their vehicles that lack an immobilizer and will provide it free of charge to vehicle owners.

SBPD encourages all vehicle owners, not just those whose vehicles are at a higher risk of being stolen, to take these steps to make your vehicle less attractive to thieves:

  • Consider purchasing a steering wheel lock
  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Never leave your vehicle unattended with your engine running
  • Lock your car and take your keys with you
  • Contact your dealership for potential software updates or recall notices

You can read more about the offerings from Kia and Hyundai on their websites.

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