LANCASTER, Pa. — Hyundai and Kia vehicles have become some of the easiest to steal, in part because of a viral TikTok challenge.
FOX43 Finds Out how police officers in Pennsylvania are trying to prevent the popular trend from happening here.
People who drive Hyundais and Kias hope a steering wheel lock will stop thieves from stealing their vehicles.
Richard Denlinger of Lititz drives a Hyundai Tuscon. He showed up to get a free steering wheel lock at Park City Center. "If someone sees it on there, they're not even going to try to break into the car," he said.
Police officers with the Lancaster County Auto Crime Task Force handed out these locks free of charge to more than 100 drivers in Lancaster county.
The task force reached out to Hyundai and the auto company sent about 300 clubs.
Officer Tod Neifert with the Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department and the Lancaster County Auto Crime Task Force said, "Currently in the Lancaster County area, the issues with this TikTok challenge theft of Hyundais and Kias are very minimal and we want to keep it that way."
The popular TikTok videos show how easy it is to steal these types of cars and officers say in cities like Philadelphia, car thefts are up about 300%.
That's why people like Denlinger picked up his free lock.
"We'll park our vehicle at one spot for 7-10 days, so we're always wondering and hoping when we come back that it's still sitting there," he told FOX43.
The steering wheel lock gives peace of mind to Erin Weidner of Columbia. She drives a Hyundai Palisade and says, "I've been really happy with it thus far so I obviously don't want to risk having any sort of safety issues."
Hyundai and Kia are offering software updates for a lot of vehicles in the upcoming month to prevent thefts, but for the vehicles where that isn't an option, this lock can save the owners a lot of money.
"It's a visual deterrent. They see these big yellow bars from the outside, so hopefully, they don't even try to break in," Neifert said.
How you can get a free lock
There are still some steering wheel locks available. Officer Neifert said they can be picked up Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department, 860 Durlach Rd. Stevens PA. 17578. You can also email email@example.com for more information.
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