CMPD: 80% Of Vehicles Stolen In 2022 Were Kia Or Hyundai Models

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – There’s a staggering new statistic when it comes to car thefts in Charlotte.

CMPD says 80 percent of vehicles stolen last year were Kia or Hyundai models.

Police say a TikTok challenge is partially to blame.

“I was just kind of just took off guard, I was like wow, this is insane,” explains West Charlotte resident Andrew Chiarelli.

His Hyundai Tucson ended up totaled after being stolen, then led on a high speed car chase across Charlotte on Monday.

“Came down to go to work in the morning. Car was parked at the corner. Came right down and I noticed that another vehicle was parked in my spot. So I was just like, ‘where is my car?'” Chiarelli says.

He’s believed to be one of the latest victims of a TikTok trend.

Police say teens are using USB charging cables to easily steal certain Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

CMPD Deputy Chief Dave Robison spoke at Charlotte City Council about the issue Monday night.

“So if you’re a Kia or Hyundai owner and you’re hearing me right now, please take precautions to put a club on your steering wheel, park in a well lit area, know where your vehicle is, get a car alarm, something to help us with that,” Robinson said.

After Chiarelli reported his Hyundai stolen, police got a hit on a license plate reader, then tracked his SUV by helicopter.

“I didn’t know anything else besides that, until my friends told me that there was a live chase of my car being fed on Instagram,” he says.

Police say the teens that stole it crashed into a truck in Uptown, where they were arrested after a foot chase.

Chiarelli says if you have a Kia or Hyundai, make sure your vehicle is secure.

“Especially if that’s your daily driver, which I mean now I’m Ubering to work. So, I’m sure that will happen to so many other people. I’m sure it already has happened to so many other people,” he says.