DAYTON — Dayton police are asking for help from the community to stop a spate of auto thefts.
Police believe instructional videos on social media could still be contributing to the rise in thefts.
Police first saw an increase in the number of car thefts last summer, when how-to videos on how to steal cars first appeared on social media platforms.
The first week of the new year wasn’t much better as Hyundais and Kias continued to be targeted.
“It’s a vicious cycle, frustrating,” Valerie Brown said.
Brown is one of the youngest victims of the so-called Kia Challenge.
She woke up Monday morning to find her Kia gone. Nobody heard anything and the Kia was nowhere to be seen.
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“Disgusting is a good word. Now I don’t have transportation or anything,” Brown said.
Brown said she bought her 2015 Kia Optima last August and wasn’t happy to be a part of the recent stats.
Dayton police said 67 cars, almost all Kias and Hyundais, were stolen in the first week of the year.
They said their stats show that car thefts in the city have nearly doubled from their usual pace, almost exactly coinciding with last July when the social media videos first appeared.
“Something has to be done where they can’t put that up in the beginning,” Brown said.
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Brown doesn’t understand why platforms like TikTok and YouTube ever allowed the how-to videos to appear.
She has seen police attempt to slow the problem, including setting up a statewide auto theft suppression task force.
But the problem isn’t just limited to Montgomery County, it’s impacted many parts of the Miami Valley.
“Something needs to be done, it needs to be done, it’s costing us, the consumers, way too much money,” Brown said.
Not only car theft victims have to pay.
Many other drivers pay after people attempt to steal and damage their cars.
Even if unsuccessful, it will result in high repair bills and potentially higher insurance costs.
Last week, 67 cars were stolen in Dayton. Almost all of these were Kias, Hyundais or left with the keys in the car.
– Dayton Police Dept. (@DaytonPolice) January 9, 2023
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