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MPD: Hyundai and Kia vehicles too easy to steal, leading to spike in car thefts

Posted at 6:40 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 19:40:38-05

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Police are seeing a big spike in stolen cars, especially in the last month. MPD is warning suspects are targeting specifically Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

Surveillance video shows suspects breaking into Stan Davis’ neighbor Hyundai in Riverwest. His security system proved it took less than 90 seconds for them to get the car.

July 26, 2012 file photo of Hyundai (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

“They broke the window, and you see them climbing through instead of opening up the door, so they don’t set the alarm off,” said Davis.

Not a surprise to his son, who works at Expert Electronics. They are seeing a big increase in people coming in to get added security installed in their cars.

Kia vehicles
This is the KIA logo on the grill of a 2020 KIA Telluride on display on a sign at the 2019 Pittsburgh International Auto Show in Pittsburgh Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

“We have had a lot of customers bring in their vehicles for alarms. Kias and Hyundais specifically, a lot of them for the alarms right now,” said Douglas Davis.

On top of that, Milwaukee Police Sergeant Efrain Cornejo says Hyundai and Kia vehicles are easy to steal. Thieves don’t need the key fobs to take them like they do with most modern vehicles.

“It’s something we are used to seeing in the older cars,” said Sergeant Cornejo.

According to MPD, there has been a huge jump in vehicle thefts in this last month compared to the same time last year. In 2020, there were 329 cars stolen in Milwaukee. This year, in that same time period, there were 831. That’s a 153 percent increase. On top of that, more than 60 percent of those cars were either a Hyundai or a Kia.

Milwaukee Police
File photo

“They are able to take these vehicles fairly easily,” said Cornejo.

The major concern for police is that these thieves are not just taking the cars for joyrides.

“Some of them are not only involved in reckless driving, but they are involved in other types of crimes like robberies. So that is a concern we have,” said Cornejo.

MPD says thieves are targeting any Kia vehicles made in 2011 or newer. Plus, they are going after any Hyundai made in 2015 or later. Besides an alarm, police suggest using a steering wheel lock to deter thieves.

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