Chicago ‘Kia boy’ has a felony gun case pending in restorative justice court, where wrongs are addressed with ‘peace circles,’ prosecutors say

Chicago — Tavion Griffin was given a gift after prosecutors accused him of carrying a gun in a West Side convenience store on September 5. His case was assigned to a “restorative justice” court, where criminal charges can be washed away by participating in “restorative conferences and peace circles.”

The peace circle treatment may be on hold now. Prosecutors on Saturday accused Griffin of possessing a stolen motor vehicle, the latest so-called “Kia boy” to face felony charges. “Kia Boys” take advantage of a design flaw that allows them to steal Kias and Hyundai vehicles with little more than a USB cord.

Tavion Griffin (inset) and the stripped steering column of a Kia automobile. | Chicago Police Department; Kia Boys/YouTube

Chicago police were responding to a call of a freshly-stolen Hyundai when they spotted a Kia Sol that had been reported stolen on Friday. They stopped to check out the Kia, which was not occupied and then walked down a nearby gangway.

At the other end of the gangway was the Hyundai that had just been reported stolen. Prosecutors said Griffin was near it and took off running. He was carrying a screwdriver and a USB cord when police caught him, according to prosecutors.

The Hyundai’s side window was broken, and its steering column was stripped, exposing the ignition, prosecutors said. Its owner was in town for Thanksgiving.

After Griffin was charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon in September, Judge Mary Marubio noted that Griffin had no criminal background and ordered him to pay a $250 bail deposit to get out of jail with a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew. Another judge removed the curfew requirement somewhere along the line, prosecutors said.

On Saturday, Marubio was on the bench for Griffin’s new stolen motor vehicle case. She released him on his own recognizance this time and once again told him to stay in the house from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

A woman in the courtroom gallery told the judge that she would ensure he observed the curfew.

“He ain’t even comin’ out,” the woman said.

Marubio sounded pleased to know someone would be keeping tabs on him.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is