MPD partners with Hyundai and Kia to stop vehicle thefts; free steering wheel locks available

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) announced Tuesday, July 13, a new partnership with Hyundai and Kia manufacturers in an effort to stop vehicle thefts. 

Beginning in November 2020, the city of Milwaukee began to experience a significant uptick in auto thefts. MPD identified that the thieves were disproportionately targeting Hyundai and KIA vehicles that were not equipped with an engine immobilizer. The department says both Hyundai and Kia were very receptive and immediately began working on a solution. 

MPD says Hyundai and Kia have provided steering wheel locks for police to distribute to Hyundai and Kia owners of specific vehicle models that require a physical shank-style key and do not have an engine immobilizer.

“Hyundai is concerned with the rise in local auto thefts of our vehicles. We are working closely with the Milwaukee Police Department to support its distribution of anti-theft steering wheel locks to owners of certain Hyundai vehicles. Hyundai customers that have any questions can contact the Hyundai Consumer Assistance Center at (800) 633-5151,” said Hyundai.

“Kia is supporting the Milwaukee Police Department in combatting the rise in thefts of vehicles that are not fitted with an engine immobilizer. To provide increased deterrence, Kia is supplying the city with steering locks to distribute to owners of Kia vehicles that do not feature an immobilizer through the end of 2021. These vehicles come with a traditional key and are started by turning the key in the lock. Further to this, all Kia models from 2022 model year will be fitted as standard with an engine immobilizer. Kia customers with questions should contact the Kia helpline at (800) 333-4542,” said Kia.

The steering wheel locks are available for individuals who live, work and go to school in the city of Milwaukee. They can be picked up at any of the seven Milwaukee Police Department District Stations. Individuals may be asked for proof of ownership. The steering wheel locks will be available through the end of the year.

If you have any information regarding individuals involved in vehicle theft, please contact the Milwaukee Police Department at (414) 935-7360 or Crime Stoppers at (414) 224-TIPS or P3 Tips App to remain anonymous.

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