Some local victims say police recovered their vehicles but they were badly damaged and they plan to sell or trade in their cars as soon as they can because they are far too easy to steal.
“It should not be this easy,” said Mary Nurrenbrock, whose Kia was stolen in front of her home northwest Dayton. “This is ridiculous — this is something that needs to be recalled and remedied.”
Nurrenbrock’s 2017 Kia Soul was stolen overnight Friday, while parked on the street in front of her home.
She said police had already found the car by the time she woke up Saturday morning and noticed her vehicle was missing and contacted authorities.
At about 5:40 am Saturday morning, someone who was driving her car very fast along Marsha Lane apparently lost control and then crashed into a utility pole, a parked car and a home, according to a crash report. The driver fled.
Nurrenbrock’s car, which was taken to a tow yard, sustained significant damage.
The driver-side window and dashboard were broken, both sides are damaged, the side mirror is missing and there’s a large dent on the back of the car, Nurrenbrock said.
Nurrenbrock said she learned from social media posts that a large number of Kias have recently gone missing in Dayton.
She said she also learned there is a “nationwide epidemic” of Kias getting stolen by thieves who watch and post TikTok videos showing how to steal the vehicles with very little effort.
Videos and news articles suggest that thieves only need a standard USB charger cord, or something similar, to engage the ignition and start the car.
Nurrenbrock said so many Kias have been stolen that she believes she will have to wait a long time to get her car fixed because there’s a big backlog on parts.
She said her insurance is paying for a temporary rental car but she’ll have to return the rental before her car is out of the shop. She said she plans to sell her Kia as soon as possible.
Class action lawsuits have been filed in Kansas and Missouri that claim Kia and Hyundai intentionally failed to install anti-theft devices in some of their vehicles to cut costs, according to news reports.
Abbe Matthews, 38, who lives in the Dayton’s Santa Clara neighborhood, said her husband’s 2018 Kia Forte was stolen from the front of their home in late July.
She said police recovered the vehicle behind a home on Philadelphia Drive the next day. She said it was on blocks and it looked like the thieves were preparing to strip it of parts.
The vehicle sustained about $5,000 worth of damage.
She said the car is at a Kia dealer, but the repairs likely won’t be completed until mid-September because of large backlog of parts, evidently due to a large number of thefts.
“There have been so many that everything is on back order,” she said.
She said luckily she and her husband have a second car and that she works from home.
But she said it’s still very inconvenient.
“If we didn’t have a second car, this would be costing us a lot of money,” she said.
Matthews said Kia needs to recall vehicles that are very vulnerable to theft.
“As soon as we get the car back, I’m trading it in because I’m not doing this again,” she said.
Kias recently have been stolen from neighborhoods including Cornell Heights, North Riverdale, Wesleyan Hill, Philadelphia Woods, Fairview, Highview Hills and Greenwich Village.
Hyundais have been stolen from Chapel Hill, Lakeview and other neighborhoods.
Dayton police say some tips to preventing car thieves for all types of vehicles include:
— Lock doors and not leaving keys or spare keys in the vehicle
— Close windows
— Park in well-lit areas
— Install alarm systems and anti-theft devices
— Install vehicle immobilizer system or tracker system