CLEVELAND — In just about two months in Cuyahoga County, 842 Kia and Hyundai vehicles have been stolen. The vast majority, 674, from Cleveland.
“Over 60% of vehicles stolen in Cuyahoga County in the last two months are Kias and Hyundais,” said Ryan Bokoch, supervisor of the Crime Strategies Unit.
Car thieves are leading police on chases crisscrossing Northeast Ohio. “We do see criminals going from one area to the next,” Bokoch said.
Police said it’s part of a dangerous TikTok challenge that has thieves targeting certain Kia and Hyundai makes and models.
The Crime Strategies Unit is working to help police put the brakes on the sudden spike in stolen cars.
“We’re working to make sure all the law enforcement agencies are aware of what the others are doing as it relates to these Kias and Hyundais. When you have an arrest in one city, we want to make sure all the cities in the area that are interested in that information are getting that information,” Bokoch said.
Crime Strategies Unit analysts collect and share the data to help police catch the crooks. “We’ve seen it time and again, these Kias and Hyundais are stolen, they’ll flee from police, weapons will be recovered in the cars as well. It’s a dangerous situation and people are using these stolen cars often to commit these other crimes,” Bokoch said.
That’s why the unit is working quickly to help police slow the car thefts.
More than 3,000 cars have been stolen in Cleveland this year. News 5 Investigators analyzed the data and found the percentages of Kias and Hyundais tripled since a TikTok challenge swept the city. Watch more in the player below:
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