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The latest viral TikTok challenge is stealing these popular cars

The latest viral TikTok challenge is stealing these popular cars

TikTok is known for its many viral challenges. Some of them are harmless – dancing or lip syncing to a particular song or filming before and after glam sessions. Others, however, are downright dangerous and even deadly. Some involve eating or drinking things that no human should ever digest (Tide Pods included!) However, the latest TikTok challenge could land you in jail: people steal these car brands to gain credibility on social media.

Kia Boys Documentary/YouTube

According to reports, young teens are stealing certain models of Hyundai and Kia cars as part of a TikTok challenge. Law enforcement officers across the country are reporting many such car thefts, claiming the trend is on the rise. Keep reading to see the video.

Kia Boys Documentary/YouTube

According to CNBC people use USB cable to assist in their car thefts. Why Kia and Hyundai cars? Certain makes and models produced between 2010 and 2021 require a mechanical key to start the car. According to the challenge, people break into the cars and then take off the steering column. They then wire the cars using a USB cable.

Kia Boys Documentary/YouTube

Law enforcement officials say as many as a third of all car thefts in St. Petersburg, Florida, are related to the challenge. In Los Angeles, Hyundai and Kia car thefts increased by 85%. Same in Chicago. “Only in our jurisdiction, [thefts of certain models are] up more than 800% in the past month. We see no end in sight,” said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. “The viral nature of how this has taken off on social media — it has accelerated this like we’ve never seen before. [The perpetrators are] do it in 20 to 30 seconds. It’s literally as old-fashioned as you can imagine.”

Kia Boys Documentary/YouTube

Per Dart, the thieves are mostly young teenagers, many of them too young to even drive. Many of the stolen cars are used for pleasure rides or to commit other crimes. In the end they are abandoned. “We had an 11-year-old who was one of our most prolific steals… the idea that they can ride is a fantasy,” Dart said.

Kia Boys Documentary/YouTube

The hashtag being used? Kia Boys, which has over 33 million views on TikTok. A Milwaukee filmmaker documents the viral trend on his YouTube channel Documentary about Kia Boys. “This is what they do for after-school entertainment”, Tommy Gerszewski told CNBC. “They don’t really have sympathy for the people they’re doing this for.”

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Some Kia and Hyundai owners are going after the auto companies, while Ken McClain, a Missouri attorney, represents clients in class action lawsuits. To date, he has clients in California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Texas. “We get dozens of calls a day,” McClain says. “The manufacturer[s] should pay for this.”