Damaged: Madison’s Newest Car Theft Problem

by Safety Connection

July 17, 2022

Earlier this week someone made an unsuccessful attempt to steal a Kia on the west side of Madison. A window was smashed and the steering column was stripped in what was most likely an attempt to hot-wire it. But the suspect(s) did not take the car and instead left the vehicle owner dealing with significant damage.

As we reported to you last month, certain model years of Kia and Hyundai vehicles have a vulnerability that allows them to be stolen without a key (Kia vehicles newer than 2011 and Hyundai vehicles newer than 2015). Thieves smash a window and manipulate the steering column. This trend has finally reached Madison—it has already been a significant problem in Milwaukee for the last two years.

Steering column damaged by theft

Patrol officers in the Madison area have told us that one unintended consequence of this new crime wave is that some thieves can’t distinguish between model years. So if you own a Kia or Hyundai that DOESN’T have the vulnerability, you could still end up with a damaged vehicle.

One way to deter Kia and Hyundai thieves is to purchase and use a steering wheel lock (like The Club). These devices can still be defeated by a very determined thief, but it takes more time which increases the risk of getting caught.

Using a steering wheel lock can improve your chances that a car thief will move along to find an easier target!

Related Articles