Gwinnett County

Lawrenceville police offering free steering wheel locks after Kia, Hyundai thefts rise

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Lawrenceville police told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington that Kia and Hyundai car thefts are on the rise.

“When I saw them hop into my car I felt fully violated,” Kia owner Shanelle King said.

“My stomach sank, everything my heart dropped,” she said.

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King is one of many Kia and Hyundai car owners who’ve all reported car thefts and break-ins over the past few years.

“They used something, and the window shattered,” King explained.

“We’re seeing a lot of Kia and Hyundai cars getting stolen,” Capt. Salvador Ortega with Lawrenceville Police Department said on Wednesday.

Lawrenceville police said they’ve responded to at least 10 Kia and Hyundai thefts this year alone.

To help keep owners protected, Kia sent dozens of steering wheel locks to the police department.

Anyone who drives a Kia or Hyundai, model years 2011 through 2021, can stop at the department and pick up a steering wheel lock for free.

“You install this on your steering wheel, and you lock it and no one can move it so the steering wheel becomes disabled,” Ortega said.

Channel 2 Action News reported on the viral TikTok trend that showed thieves stealing Kia vehicles within seconds.

Hyundai and Kia automakers were accused of selling car models that did not have immobilizers.


That’s a feature that prevents the engine from starting unless the key is near or in the car.

“I really do think that Kia needs to own up to their mishap,” King said.

Kia and Hyundai automakers recently settled a multi-million-dollar class action lawsuit brought by the car theft victims.

Kia technicians will install software updates at Center Parc Stadium on April 5, 6, and 7.

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