Racine police warn of uptick in Kia, Hyundai thefts

NOW: Racine police warn of uptick in Kia, Hyundai thefts

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- An alert to car owners in Racine, where police are seeing an uptick in thefts -- specifically Kias and Hyundais. 

Racine police aren't sure what's leading to the uptick there, though they suspect it's like a lot of other places -- social media spreading the word that especially older model Kias and Hyundais are easy to steal. 

The past few months, the overnight hours have been a hotbed of car thefts and attempted car thefts in Racine, and police say the numbers have shifted. What used to be a broad range of vehicle types being taken or ravaged through in Racine, is today mostly just Kias and Hyundais. 

Racine police are sending out an alert just days after more than a dozen state attorneys general called for the feds to recall some Kia and Hyundai models, saying thieves driving them recklessly have caused numerous crashes, including some that were deadly. =

"The main models for the Kias are the Kia Forte, the Kia Soul and the Kia Sorento, and for the Hyundai, it's Hyundai Elantras, Hyundai Sonatas and Hyundai Accents that are being targeted. So, if you own any of these, you know, consider the club, park it in your garage, in a well-lit area, in your driveway, somewhere under surveillance where it's gonna be noticed right away if something's wrong or if something's missing or something like that," said Racine Police Sgt. Kristi Wilcox.

Kia and Hyundai have put together theft deterrent software for their cars that lack an immobilizer. It's free of charge. The software extends the alarm sound from 30 seconds to one minute and requires the key to be in the ignition to turn the vehicle on. 

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