SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Vehicle thefts are a growing crime within the city of Sioux Falls. Just this year the police department has seen more than one thousand of these cases. Common cars that are being targeted include Kias and Hyundais.
For almost a year now Kia and Hyundai cars have experienced a surge in thefts. Online videos give step-by-step instructions on how to easily steal them. It’s a nationwide problem that’s being seen in Sioux Falls as well.
“I don’t know how much more there’s been an increase, but we’ve certainly seen some cars that have been damaged in a way that mimics the information that is out there on social media,” Sam Clemens with SFPD said.
I myself was a victim recently. Someone threw a rock through the window of my Kia Sportage. It wasn’t actually stolen, but my steering wheel panel was pulled off. An investigator told me someone was probably trying to steal it.
In February of this year, Hyundai and Kia announced the development of a theft deterrent software that car owners can get installed for free. The software extends the length of the alarm sound and requires the key be in the ignition for a car to start.
However, police say that might not necessarily solve the issue.
“They could still break the window, they could still damage the steering column. You’re left with damage. Maybe they’re not able to get away with the car, which is fine, but you still have a mess to clean up after the fact,” Clemens said.
Another option is to purchase one of these bars that lock onto steering wheels.
“That’s one that I know that gets recommended by detectives, but it’s kind of hard to give tips on what to do to prevent this from happening because there’s really no good answer, no good solution to prevent break-ins or car thefts,” Clemens said.
Clemens says it remains true though that the vast majority of stolen car cases in Sioux Falls happen because the keys were left inside or the doors were left unlocked.