Some local victims say police have recovered their vehicles, but they were badly damaged and plan to sell or trade in their cars as soon as they can because they are too easy to steal.
“It shouldn’t be that easy,” said Mary Nurenbrock, whose Kia was stolen outside her northwest Dayton home. “It’s ridiculous – it’s something that needs to be recalled and fixed.”
Nurrenbrock’s 2017 Kia Soul was stolen overnight Friday while it was parked on the street outside her home.
She said police had already found the car by the time she woke up Saturday morning and noticed her car was missing and contacted authorities.
Around 5:40 a.m. Saturday morning, someone driving their car very fast on 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 service station, sustained significant damage.
The driver’s side window and dashboard were broken, both sides were damaged, the side mirror was missing and there was a large dent in the back of the car, Nurenbrock said.
Nurenbrock 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 “national epidemic” of Kia thefts by thieves who watch and post videos on TikTok showing how to steal the vehicles with very little effort.
Videos and news articles show that thieves only need a standard USB charger cable or something similar to turn on the ignition and start the car.
Nurrenbrock said so many Kias have been stolen that he thinks he will have to wait a long time to fix his car because there is a large backlog of parts.
She said her insurance paid for a temporary rental car, but she would have to return the rental before her car left 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 allege Kia and Hyundai intentionally failed to install anti-theft devices in some of their vehicles to cut costs, according to news reports.
Abby Matthews, 38, who lives in 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 found the vehicle behind a house on Philadelphia Drive the next day. She said it was in blocks and it looked like the thieves were getting ready to take it apart.
About $5,000 worth of damage was done to the vehicle.
She said the car is at a Kia dealer, but repairs likely won’t be completed until mid-September due to a large backlog of parts, apparently due to the high number of thefts.
“There were so many that everything is on back order,” she said.
She said that luckily she and her husband have a second car and that she works from home.
But she said it was still very uncomfortable.
“If we didn’t have a second car, it would have cost us a lot of money,” she said.
Matthews said Kia has to recall vehicles that are very vulnerable to theft.
“As soon as we get the car back, I’m replacing it because I’m not doing this again,” she said.
Kias have recently 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 carjacking prevention tips for all types of vehicles include:
— Lock the doors and do not leave keys or spare keys in the vehicle
— Close the windows
— Park in well-lit areas
— Install alarm systems and anti-theft devices
— Install a vehicle immobilizer or tracking system