MPD: Increase in vehicle thefts involving Kias, Hyundais reported on city’s east side
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Certain models of Kia and Hyundai vehicles have been targeted in thefts over the past two weeks on Madison’s east side, police reported Monday.
The Madison Police Department is asking for the public to report any suspicious activity after the increase in thefts, which it described as the city’s “first micro time hotspot related to stolen autos.”
MPD stated Monday morning that its North District has seen an increase in the thefts over the past two weeks near East Washington Avenue and Hayes Road of Kia models newer than 2011 and Hyundai models newer than 2015.
The vehicles were stolen from local hotels, driveways and large apartment parking lots. Officers report these vehicles are being stolen primarily overnight between midnight and 5 a.m. by groups of people who drive around in one car and then target specific areas and vehicles.
The department said it is seeing a shift in vehicle thefts from vehicles with keys inside being stolen to vehicles being targeted due to a manufacturing issue. The cars are typically broken into through a rear window and driven away without keys.
According to MPD, both Kia and Hyundai have reported that changes were made at the start of the year to prevent these kinds of thefts.
The suspects allegedly stealing these vehicles are using them for “joyriding,” MPD explained, and they often flee from the police. MPD said its officers do not pursue these vehicles when they escape, as it can be dangerous for the public, but may use other techniques to stop the vehicle.
Anyone who sees suspicious activity should report it to MPD by calling 911.
The Sun Prairie Police Department also reported an increase in stolen Kia and Hyundai models Monday, noting it appears to be related to other stolen vehicle reports across the nation and state.
The Beloit Police Department warned on June 6 that it was investigating a string of thefts targeting Kias and Hyundais for the same mechanical issue that Madison police warned of.
Last year, Milwaukee PD stated that it was providing free steering wheel locks to residents who owned some models of Kias and Hyundais after they were being targeted by thieves.
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