11YO Steals Several Kias, Throws Rocks at Homes, Rams Into Business

The 11 YO Kia Boy was arrested 10 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Kia
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Everybody believed the Kia Boys would stop stealing cars once Hyundai and Kia released an anti-theft patch, but this is so not what happens in the United States these days when teens keep wreaking havoc in their communities.
The Albuquerque Police Department recently confirmed that an 11-year-old boy, a member of the infamous Kia Boys gang, was arrested after a series of crimes that you wouldn't expect from someone so young.

It all started on May 5 when the 11-year-old boy stole a Kia Forte. The police recovered the car the same day, but it didn't take long for the teen to find another unpatched Kia. Seven days later, the boy and a group of friends were seen throwing rocks at homes, eventually injuring one person.

The juvenile didn't stop there, so on May 17, he stole another Kia and drove directly into a business. The collision wrecked the car and produced significant damage to the store. Later the same month, the 11-year-old boy got involved in even more serious crimes, as he stole another Kia and shot at a man. He was joined by three other teens, spotting a man on Cordova Avenue. Police couldn't catch the group but found a bullet at the scene.

A man was eventually injured on June 1 when the Kia Boys used a 9mm handgun to shoot at someone on General Chennault. It was the moment when the Albuquerque Police Department deployed more resources to find the suspects, eventually identifying and arresting the 11-year-old responsible for all crimes.

The ADP Chief of Police took to X (formerly Twitter) to emphasize that the 11-year-old became "a danger to the community." He started with stealing cars and ended with shooting at people, highlighting an issue that authorities still struggle to deal with.

"Kids need consequences," he posted.

The Kia Challenge emerged three years ago when a method to start vulnerable Kia and Hyundai cars went viral on TikTok. Teenagers only needed to break into the vehicle, rip off the steering wheel column, and hotwire the car to start the engine. The method became very popular among juveniles, who began stealing cars and filming the process for Internet views.

Kia and Hyundai released anti-theft patches that prevent the engine from starting without the key. However, not all car owners installed the update, and not all vehicles are eligible. The carmakers also gave away steering wheel locks, and police recommended car owners to park in well-lit areas and install other devices, including AirTags, to track their vehicles' locations.

The two companies regularly set up software update clinics across the United States, urging customers to bring their vehicles to install the patch. The process takes only 30 minutes and prevents thieves from driving away in their cars.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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