TikTok challenge teaching criminals how to start vehicles using USB wires, police say

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — There are growing concerns over a TikTok challenge leading to dozens of auto thefts in the area.

Authorities say the thieves were targeting Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

At least five Hyundais and Kias were stolen from a part of North Philadelphia this past weekend alone.

Tanisha Smith stormed out of her home Monday morning when she realized her 2019 Kia had been stolen.

Investigators say this is part of a TikTok challenge in which people are learning how to start Hyundais and Kias using a USB cable.

ALSO SEE: New TikTok Challenge Targets Kia and Hyundai Car Owners

According to police records, at least 35 Hyundais and Kias have been stolen across the city in the past week.

Smith said she had important documents in her car.

“I’ve got my kids’ social security cards in there, medical cards in there. I have my debit card, my work ID,” she said.

And she wasn’t alone.

Joan Vieldhouse’s Hyundai also disappeared early Sunday morning.

She says the thieves had a big day in their North Philly area over the weekend.

“When the cop came … he said I was fourth in the morning, and he was on his way to a fifth by the time he was done with me,” Vieldhouse said.

Investigators are warning Hyundai and Kia owners to take extra precautions, including parking in well-lit areas and using steering wheel locks when possible.

In a previous statement to Action News, Kia said they are aware of the rise in vehicle thefts in our area, but that new models and trims are immobilized. It also said all Kia vehicles for sale in the United States meet or exceed federal motor vehicle safety standards.

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https://6abc.com/tiktok-challenge-usb-drive-car-thefts-hyundai-kia-vehicles/12178976/ TikTok challenge teaching criminals how to start vehicles using USB wires, police say

Alley Einstein

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