Like many residents across the DMV on Wednesday, Lexy spent her morning brushing recent snow off the windshield of her Mazda 3.
It is a used automobile the Laurel, Maryland resident not too long ago purchased from a member of the family — after her Kia Optima was stolen twice, as a part of the social media “Kia Problem.”
“I used to be like, there is not any approach that this may very well be taking place a second time,” Lexy stated.
Again in August, News4 interviewed Lexy after her automobile was stolen simply steps from her dwelling in Laurel. She acquired it again, however the steering column had been ripped out.
After pricey repairs, Lexy and her Kia made it again on the street. However in December, it was taken once more — this time, from the Laurel City Centre parking zone.
Her Kia Optima hasn’t been seen since.
“My abdomen simply dropped. I used to be in full shock,” Lexy stated.
The Kia Problem began on TikTok, exhibiting how sure older-model Kias and Hyundais could be stolen with a USB wire.
The thefts have skyrocketed throughout the nation. Now, some insurance coverage firms are elevating charges and refusing to simply accept new clients with sure Kias and Hyundais, due to the elevated value of replacements and repairs.
Lexy says her insurance coverage charges went up.
“I referred to as them, and I used to be like, ‘is it one thing I did?’ And so they had been like, ‘no, it is simply, you understand, the world. We’re simply reassessing what you are coverage goes to be due to the crime,” Lexy stated. “I used to be like… it is terrible.”
Lexy deliberate to get a steering wheel lock, however the police division was out of free ones, and the web costs had skyrocketed.
“Clearly I used to be kicking myself, as a result of I ought to have gotten it immediately and simply bit the bullet,” Lexy stated.
In response to Laurel police chief Russ Hamill, a lot of the thieves are youngsters — and plenty of are repeat offenders.
Many house owners have been calling on the automobile firms to do one thing. To date, it hasn’t occurred.
“We’re simply residents making an attempt to get to work, making an attempt to handle our households,” Lexy stated. “The truth that they haven’t supplied any sort of compensation, any technique to repair the problem — it truly is baffling.”
In response to Progressive Insurance coverage, in some markets, these vehicles are 20 instances extra prone to be stolen than some other automobile. State Farm is asking it a major problem that is affecting clients in the whole auto insurance coverage trade.
Police are urging homeowners to get an anti-theft gadget, and take into account an after-market automobile alarm.