San Pablo police report rise in auto thefts, specifically two car models

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Photo courtesy of the San Pablo Police Department.

The San Pablo Police Department and many other local police agencies are reporting a spike in stolen vehicles recently, specifically involving newer Kia and Hyundai models.

On Thursday night, for example, officers located the stolen vehicle pictured driving through San Pablo. The car had been stolen out of San Francisco. The suspect was apprehended and the vehicle was returned to its owner, police said.

Kia and Hyundai models between 2011 and 2022 have been targeted by thieves due in part to “social media challenges urging people to steal the cars with the help of a screwdriver and USB Cable,” according to ABC News.

San Pablo Police Department recovered this stolen car on Thursday, April 20, 2023.

“Some of the thefts have been posted on social media using the hashtag #KiaBoyz,” the news station reported.

In response, 18 attorneys general are requesting a recall of Kia and Hyundai models that lack anti-theft controls, ABC News stated.

Locally, the San Pablo Police Department is asking owners of these vehicles to remind vigilant.

“We want to remind everyone to double check that your car is locked when you park it, the alarm is set and the keys are in a safe location,” officials said. “You can always add additional safety measures to secure your vehicle like putting a ‘locking club’ or even a GPS tracking device on your car.”