'I am angry with Kia': Dealership break-in leaves Milwaukee woman's car damaged

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GLENDALE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Susan Sturn has been without a vehicle since April 17.

"I had it towed to Lupient Kia. They told me I needed a new transmission," Sturn explained, saying the dealership has not been able to give her a firm date on when she can expect her vehicle to be repaired due to parts challenges. "Every time I call, they give me a different date of saying the case has been escalated and someone will get back to me. They don't."

Sturn received a call about her car on Monday, but it wasn't one she needed or expected.

"I received a phone call from the Glendale Police Department saying my car, along with others, was broken into," Sturn said. "The rear window was smashed in and the steering wheel column was tore off trying to start it."

Glendale Police Captain Rhett Fugman confirmed the break-in, saying at least two Kias were discovered broken into and damaged on July 4, one at the dealership and another at an apartment complex nearby.

"We're waiting for the dealership to let us know if there's any further steals or entries because they have so many other damaged cars that are in their lot," Captain Fugman said. "It's kind of the unique thing what's going on with Kias. They have a lot of other past entries that are there for repair."

According to the captain, a 16-year-old was found in another vehicle near the crime scene and ran on foot from officers. He was taken into custody. Captain Fugman says they believe the 16-year-old is responsible for both break-ins, but says they're still working to confirm that information. He says the dealership does not have any surveillance video for police to use in the investigation.

"We believe it's him," Captain Fugman said. "We don't know if he was alone or with other people, but he was found. He was arrested for burglarious tools and resisting an officer."

Captain Fugman was not able to confirm if the suspect is a member of the notorious Kia Boys group, known for breaking into the vehicles and taking them for dangerous joyrides throughout the city of Milwaukee and surrounding communities.

"It seems like this is a teenager or teenagers doing this again, yes," Captain Fugman said. "I don't know if this person ever referenced himself as part of that group."

Sturn is upset with the dealership and the company as a whole, saying the vehicles that are being so easily broken into should be recalled and fixed to prevent future thefts.

"They refuse to recall these cars and fix them," Sturn said. "We're expected to put our money into these cars to keep ourselves safe, and now I can't even feel safe when it's sitting down at a dealership to be repaired and it's broken into, and nobody will reach out back to me. Nobody."

Sturn says she has reached out to the dealership several times to discuss the repairs and who will be responsible for covering the damage and has yet to hear back. CBS 58 reached out to Kia's corporate offices and left a message with the general manager at Lupient Kia. Both have not responded to a request for comment.

Sturn added that if she could afford to buy a different vehicle, she would. The retired school teacher had this message for any kids or young adults breaking in and attempting to steal vehicles.

"I know you're hurting. I know there's things you're dealing with, but stealing cars is not the way to go," Sturn said. "Reach out to somebody who will listen."

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