This is the moment four Minnesota teenagers crashed a stolen Kia into the median of a freeway before frantically driving through traffic to try and avoid arrest.
The incident may be part of a troubling trend from TikTok which has been promoting and educating on ways to hot-wire Kia and Hyundai vehicles with as little as a USB cable.
Law enforcement across the country has raised concerns about the trend, which started on TikTok in 2021 thanks to a Milwaukee-based group known as the “Kia Boyz.”
The thefts typically involve Kias newer than 2011 and Hyundais newer than 2015. The cars typically do not have immobilizers and are accessed through backdoors without setting off alarms.
This most recent incident occurred in St. Paul, Minnesota on Saturday afternoon along Interstate 35E Northbound.
Video of Saturday’s incident begins to show the white Kia drifting through the lanes in St. Paul, Minnesota
Eventually the Kia reaches the median along Interstate 35E before it starts to smoke
As the car begins to smoke, the teenage driver of the car abandoned the car
Soon he is joined by three other cohorts who all begin a suicidal race down the busy highway.
According to Fox 9, the driver was trying to evade the police tire deflation device when he started to hit the wall.
The video shows the smoking car and the four teenagers, a 14-year-old boy and three girls aged 15 to 17, running down the busy highway. All four were eventually arrested by state troopers.
A girl is seen running in a black SUV as the group heads for the exit ramp. Two of the girls were injured and were treated at a local hospital.
St. Paul Police Public Information Officer Mike Ernster told Fox 9 that around 5:30 p.m. on August 6, police received a call from a Minneapolis rental company who said that a 2021 Kia Forte had been stolen. The GPS indicated that the car was in Saint-Paul.
A State Police helicopter was deployed and quickly located the car in a residential area of town. Police cruisers drove into the area and converged on the Kia.
Ernster said at that point the teenage driver sped through the area and eventually took the freeway. The national police helicopter remained in pursuit.
The video shows a teenage girl being hit by an SUV. Police say two teenage girls were treated for minor injuries at a local hospital
The crash in the video happened about 15 minutes after the car was first located.
This style of theft is thought to have originated in Wisconsin as of 2021. While hands-on videos have spread across social media typically showing teenagers stealing cars and smashing or throwing them before being arrested.
In June, Fox 9 reported that in the Twin Cities there was an increase in thefts at Kia and Hyundai.
At the time, a woman who had just purchased a Kia Sol only to have it stolen and written off just outside her Minneapolis home told the station that if she had known how easy it was to steal cars, she would have bought something different. .
A ‘Kia Boyz’ style robbery was linked to the death of a 70-year-old woman named Phoua Hang who was killed when the car she was traveling in was hit by a stolen Kia, reports TwinCities.com.
Various viral videos have spread since 2021 showing tips on how to wire Kia and Hyundai cars
The problem is particularly serious in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where “Kia Boyz”-related thefts account for two-thirds of stolen cars in the city.
As of this writing, there have been no arrests related to Hang’s death.
The problem is particularly serious in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where “Kia Boyz”-related thefts account for two-thirds of stolen cars in the city. Things have gotten so bad in Milwaukee that authorities have advised Kia and Hyundai owners to buy steering wheel locks or invest in more advanced security systems.
In May, WISN reported that “Kia Boyz” member Antonio Carter, 19, was charged with pointing a “long gun” at a police officer as he attempted to arrest him.
Carter was also accused of driving the stolen red Kia at 90 miles per hour in “bad traffic lanes” in town.
At the time of his arrest, Carter was out on bail in two open criminal cases.
The spate of thefts was so rampant in late 2021 that the Milwaukee City Council, the Milwaukee City Attorney, openly said his office was considering filing a lawsuit against Hyundai and Kia over the apparent ease of stealing their cars. .
KTVZ quoted a city councilman as saying during a council meeting that 50% of thieves are under 16 and crimes have rarely resulted in prosecution.
In St. Louis, there was a 254% increase in Kia thefts and a 222% increase in Hyundai thefts in 2022, reports Auto News.
Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom told Michigan Live in July: ‘Most of the offenders are minors, so you throw the curve of ‘yes, we can arrest them,’ but at what kind of liability do children face and what type of services are available to ensure that it is not a catch and release and that they are back in the morning and start again.
The Auto News article reports that there has been a significant increase in Korean cars in other cities such as Cincinnati, Memphis and Grand Rapids.
The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio reported in July that Hyundai and Kia thefts accounted for four of the 10 vehicles stolen in 2022. By comparison, in 2021, Hyundai and Kia accounted for just 10% of car thefts, according to the Dispatch.
On July 25, two 14-year-olds were killed in the city when they crashed their stolen Hyundai, ABC 6 reports.
Kia said in a press release that from 2022, all of its new cars will be equipped with an immobilizer to prevent theft.
In a statement on the thefts, Kia said, “Kia America is aware of increased thefts of vehicles of a subset of trim levels. All 2022 models and versions have an immobilizer applied either at the start of the year or as a current change.
“All Kia vehicles for sale in the United States meet or exceed federal motor vehicle safety standards. Kia customers who have questions about their Kia vehicle should contact the Consumer Assistance Center directly at 1-800-333 -4542.’
While Hyundai said, “”Hyundai Motor America is concerned about the increase in local auto thefts. The safety and well-being of our customers and the community is and will remain our top priority.
“These vehicles meet or exceed federal motor vehicle safety standards and engine immobilizers are standard equipment on all new Hyundai vehicles. Hyundai customers with questions can always contact the Hyundai Consumer Assistance Center at 800-633-5151.
The moment four teenagers crash into a stolen Kia and take off running down Minnesota’s busy freeway