PORTLAND, Ore. — A popular TikTok trend has triggered a spike in Kia and Hyundai thefts nationwide, and the city of Portland is no exception.
Portland police spokesman Lt. Nathan Shepherd said Friday that there have been viral videos circulating that show vulnerabilities in these vehicle makes that make them easier to be stolen.
From June 12 to Aug. 20, Portland saw a 269% increase in stolen Kias and a 153% increase in stolen Hyundais compared to the previous 10-week period, according to Portland police data. That equates to 144 stolen Kias and 81 stolen Hyundais in the past 10 weeks.
Data shows Kias and Hyundais made up about 11% of total vehicle thefts this summer.
Police said there was a 5% drop in thefts for all other vehicle makes during that timeframe. However, total vehicle thefts increased by 3% because of the TikTok trend, police said.
Police said they've seen an increase in Kia and Hyunda thefts in North Portland and eastern parts of the city. There has been a noticeable drop in thefts in the downtown area.
Newer models have been especially vulnerable this summer, police said, as 87% of Kias and Hyundais have been from 2011 or later, compared to 61% during the previous 10 weeks.
Police are still in the process of figuring out how many stolen Kias and Hyundais have been recovered.
"If you own a Hyundai or a Kia, it might be worth while to explore some extra preventative steps. These can include things like steering wheel locks, brake locks or even ignition kill switches," Lt. Shepherd said.
For all drivers, police recommend common-sense precautions like locking your doors and not leaving valuables in your vehicle.