Chicago — A “Kia Boy” turned into a carjacker when the owner of the car’s owner caught him trying to steal her vehicle inside a downtown Chicago parking garage.
Police said the 45-year-old woman was returning to her Hyundai Sonata, which was parked inside a garage in the 100 block of West Madison, when she noticed the rear passenger side window was broken around 2 p.m.
Suddenly, a man emerged from her car and demanded her property, then returned to the Kia and drove away, police said. The woman was not injured.
“Kia boy” is the popular term for car thieves who steal Kia and Hyundai vehicles by exploiting a design flaw that allows the cars to be stolen by using a USB plug as a key. If a desired car is locked, the thieves usually break a rear side window and crawl in. Like this guy did last month in Chicago:
Fueled by “how-to” videos on social media, the fad is largely responsible for a 143% year-over-year increase in auto thefts in Chicago. So far this year, car thefts are up more than 250% compared to the same time in 2021, 2020, and 2019, according to Chicago police records.
CBS2 recently reported that 10% of Kias and 7% of Hyundais registered in Chicago had been stolen in 2022. And CWB Chicago reported that some insurance companies refused to issue new policies for the affected models.
Last month, Kia and Hyundai announced software upgrades that the companies said would prevent the design flaw from being exploited.