CHICAGO — By now, everyone in Chicago probably knows what a “Kia Boy” is. They’re car thieves who exploit a design flaw that lets them steal some Kia and Hyundai vehicles by popping the ignition and using a USB plug as a key.
It turns out that some homegrown Kia Boys are fond of sharing videos of their “work” online. And optimists who think they steal cars because they’re poor and need transportation to get to work or the grocery store are in for a rude awakening.
One account that caught our eye on Instagram is “hp.kiaboyz.” The “HP” stands for Humboldt Park.
It’s unclear if the thieves featured in the account’s posted videos actually run the page. Some of them appear to have been taken from other pages.
However, we researched all of the Illinois license plates seen in the account’s videos, and almost all of the cars have been reported stolen to Chicago police.
Before we look at some of the hp.kiaboyz videos, be advised that the clips usually feature explicit rap lyrics. So, you may want to turn the volume down (or up).
Perhaps you’re a visual person who would rather see how Kia Boys steal cars than have it explained in words. No problem. There are plenty of videos to help with that. Here’s one. Note that it takes just 58 seconds for this guy to remove the car’s window, climb in, pop the ignition, and start the car:
Now, the gentlemen in the following video have assembled two cars. According to CPD records, the black vehicle was reported stolen from the 2400 block of West Thomas in Humboldt Park on September 23. The silver car was reported stolen from the 1400 block of West Erie in West Town the same day.
Who wants to guess what they plan to do with the silver one? Drive to school, perhaps? Take grandma to church? Stay tuned.
And, no, they didn’t use the silver car to take grandma to church. Well, if they did drive her to church in the car, they didn’t post a video of it. They did, however, post this:
The Humboldt Park group is not the only Kia Boy fan page. Here’s a “hot video” from 145.kiaboys_, another account that shows Illinois plates associated with cars reported stolen to Chicago police:
We hope the owner of this next car isn’t expecting to get it back in good condition from the 210kiaboyz:
Both Kia and Hyundai are offering free software upgrades that they claim will prevent thieves from stealing their cars by using USB plugs. Some state attorneys general claim the software patches may not work consistently. The automakers have also been distributing anti-theft “clubs” that attach to steering wheels. But those YouTube users say those devices have their own vulnerabilities.