(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Colorado State Patrol reports car thieves are targeting specific cars throughout the state, specifically late model Hyundais and Kias. Two Colorado Springs women, Ashley Szekeres and Aisha McClinton recalled the moments their cars were stolen and the frustration it caused.
“It was very unsettling. I mean, me and my husband still have anxiety about living where we live, and that may be happening again or happening to a neighbor,” Szekeres said. “So that week was, it was really scary. I was just wondering if somebody is going to come back to the house and steal his car or steal a neighbor’s car down our street.”
For McClinton, she knew right away that her car was stolen. Her car has tinted windows and when she looked on the pavement by where she thought her car was she saw tinted shattered glass.
“So, I just immediately called the police,” McClinton said. “But I feel like the best thing to do is to call the police and make sure you are fully covered with your car insurance.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that millions of Hyundais and Kias have been targeted because of a trending TikTok challenge. In the challenge, thieves can use a USB cord to hot wire the car.
“I locked it and everything,” Szekeres said. “And then I didn’t know about the Hyundai and Kia challenge until I posted on Facebook. And people are like, didn’t you hear about that?”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports approximately 3.8 million Hyundais and 4.5 million Kias stolen across the country.
In response to the TikTok challenge, McClinton expressed her frustration about having her car stolen and being left without it.
“It’s just a growing, growing trend, more and more people are looking at it and more and more people are getting involved in it and more and more cars are being stolen,” McClinton said. “So I was so, so angry and I felt like somebody owes me something, because of this, like that’s how I felt.”
Szekeres shared that her car was found but she no longer drives a Kia after the incident. For Kia owners who are worried about their cars, she recommends getting extra security to protect the car.
“I’d say get that kind of crowbar you can get for your steering wheel,” Szekeres said. “But there is a recall right now that’s happening where they’re reprogramming the cars so that that doesn’t happen.”
McClinton is now on the 16th day without her car, and she recommends not leaving valuables in the car and taking photos of the vehicle to have on file.
“The first thing in my mind was the faster I report this, maybe the faster my car can be recovered,” McClinton said. “So immediately get the word out that your car is gone. And when you buy a car, make sure you take good pictures of it. If something like this does happen, you have photos to go ahead and post your car all over the media, fliers, whatever you need to do, but it’s a must that you get the word out that your car is gone so people can be on the lookout.”