CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is giving away more than 112 free steering wheel locks for Hyundai and Kia drivers this weekend.
There has been a spike in car thefts due to a TikTok challenge and police are encouraging people to protect their property.
Morgan Wells’ Kia Forte was stolen in September 2022 from a Mallard Creek apartment parking lot.
Wells was one of eight drivers whose cars were stolen in the same area, and detectives believe a teenager could be responsible in each of the cases, according to search warrants.
“It’s honestly crazy,” Wells said. “It goes to show what social media can do in terms of trying to steal something from somebody. It’s terrible.”
Channel 9 has reported about a TikTok challenge that shows thieves how to steal a Kia or Hyundai without using a key.
CMPD is offering a solution by giving away the devices that lock steering wheels in place.
Hyundai donated the locks to CMPD for the event.
Although it is not a permanent solution, Wells said she is grateful for the effort made by CMPD.
“I think maybe if a thief goes and sees that there’s a steering wheel lock, it would probably take them a little bit longer of time
to actually steal the cars,” Wells said.
Wells said she would like to see Kia and Hyundai fix the security flaws in their cars.
Both companies are offering a free software update.
CMPD’s giveaway will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church-West, at 1801 Oaklawn Ave.
The event is free and open to the public.
VIDEO: ‘It’s unfair for me’: Driver says thieves stole her Kia, wants TikTok held accountable
©2023 Cox Media Group