Law and Order, Local, Local Police Reports, Park Forest

PFPD: Thieves Hunt Kia and Hyundai Vehicles in Park Forest

Auto car theft prevention

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Park Forest Police issued a statement Saturday afternoon that there is a nationwide criminal trend with thieves targeting Hyundai and Kia vehicles. The statement only notes vehicles by these companies manufactured between certain years.

According to police, information on how to steal these cars is being shared freely online. “Social media information went viral outlining the methods to exploit an apparent security issue with select 2011-2021 Kia and 2015-2021 Hyundai vehicles,” police said. Vehicles in those model years that are not equipped with a push-button start are more easily started without a key or hotwired than are cars from other manufacturers, police said in the statement.

In the past two days, police said, several Hyundai and Kia vehicles in Park Forest have been stolen or attempted to be stolen, according to police. The trend has reached other areas in the Southland as well. Park Forest Police have recovered several vehicles that have been stolen from nearby communities, police said.

Young Teens, 12 to 13 Years Old, Are Suspected

Police said witnesses reported seeing alleged offenders as young as 12 or 13, all teenage boys.

“We urge owners of these vehicles, as well as all vehicle owners, to take steps to prevent theft,” the statement said.

Acknowledging that no prevention methods are foolproof, police offer the following suggestions, (some of which might be dubbed “old school”*):

  • Park in a garage if possible.
  • If parking in a driveway, park another vehicle behind the Kia or Hyundai, blocking it from being removed.
  • Park in well-lit areas with a lot of resident activity.
  • *Invest in a steering wheel lock (highly visible), such as shown in the photo below. While many remember “The Club,” the statement says there are multiple manufacturers of such devices now and the costs can be as low as $25.00.
  • Invest in an aftermarket alarm system that will immobilize the ignition of your car without the remote being activated. Police note this is the most expensive option “but generally reliable.”
  • Most importantly, BE ALERT AND AWARE AND CALL POLICE IF YOU SEE ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS. Good neighbors are the best deterrent, police said.

Police stress, “Please contact the Park Forest Police Department at (708) 748-4700 with any information related to any criminal activity.”