State police taking action against the ongoing rash of car thefts

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Thieves are going after Kia’s and officials said it’s so bad they’re calling it a pandemic.

According to Pennsylvania State Trooper Christopher Fox, thieves are mainly targeting four locations in our area and it’s been going on for about a year now.

Videos on TikTok and other sites that illustrate how to start and steal Kia and Hyundai models, using only a screwdriver and a USB cable have allowed the thefts to spread across the nation since late 2021.

“The biggest issue that we are seeing in Pennsylvania is obviously the more populated areas and the biggest step you can take is the actual steering wheel club. Put that in place and make sure that it is secure to prevent the vehicle from being stolen,” Fox said.

Cars that use traditional keys to start the ignition are most at risk. Trooper Fox recommends key fobs or push button systems.

The companies’ affected cars, many of them lower-cost models from the 2011 to early 2022 model years, were not equipped with a theft immobilizer. Some of these device contain a computer chip in the key that must be recognized by another chip in the steering column before the engines will start.

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From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. you can go to the following locations to get a free steering wheel club:

  • Reading Station: 600 Kenhorst Boulevard, Reading, PA 19611
  • Harrisburg Station: 8000 Bretz Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17112
  • Rockview Station: 330 Penn Tech Drive, Bellefonte, PA 16823
  • Lamar Station: 113 Boyd Lane, Mill Hall, PA 17751 State police taking action against the ongoing rash of car thefts

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