You Can't Make This Up: Kia Boys Arrested After Six Hits in One Day

Kia Boys not giving up 6 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
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The Kia Boys saga is far from over, and if you still need proof that no Kia or Hyundai is secure when sitting outside, here's a new case coming from Bellevue, Washington.
The Bellevue Police Department managed to arrest two 18-year-old thieves who were part of the viral Kia Boyz madness, though the two pushed the concept to a new dangerous and illegal level.

Ralphe Manuma and Ardrell Davis, both aged 18, started their day on September 19 with two gas station robberies. Unfortunately, despite the two being particularly interested in Kia and Hyundai cars, the gas station robberies stole valuables at gunpoint, at one point even hitting an employee with the gun.

The day continued with other crimes, with the police claiming the group was involved in a total of six robberies. They drove a stolen Hyundai Tucson, possibly taken away using the infamous TikTok hack, specifically to look for targets. It's unclear how many vehicles the two 18-year-olds eventually stole, but the two described themselves as Kia Boyz.

The two thieves were arrested earlier this month, with one of them caught by the Bellevue SWAT team on December 12.

Unfortunately, the Kia Boyz hack shows no sign of slowing down despite efforts to patch vehicles and prevent thieves from driving away in cars not fitted with immobilizers. Hyundai and Kia announced a software update to address the vulnerability earlier this year, but the concerning number of thieves based on the TikTok hack is living proof patching all vehicles on the road is an impossible mission.

The other part of the problem concerns how thieves can tell if a vehicle is patched. The two carmakers offer window stickers to customers whose cars got patched, specifically to let potential thieves know that the TikTok hack doesn't work.

However, police still recommend Hyundai and Kia owners get steering wheel locks, as the old-school devices are the most effective ways to make sure thieves breaking away in their cars don't manage to drive away. Furthermore, some authorities, including city officials in Washington, gave away AirTags to Hyundai and Kia owners to track their vehicles if they get stolen.

The AirTag can provide valuable location information when someone drives away in a car, helping the police track it down and catch the thief. A criminal running away from the cops doesn't have the time to search for and disable AirTags, and planting a tracker in the right spot makes it undetectable.

Meanwhile, the carmakers urge all customers to patch their vehicles as soon as possible. Police tell owners to call 911 the second they notice their cars are missing, as the faster the search begins, the bigger the chance for law enforcement to locate and recover a stolen vehicle.
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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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