MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — Kia and Hyundais are still being stolen across Middle Tennessee.
“I was just holding his car seat confused, and then I realized it was gone,” said Tyne Appleton.
On Saturday night, Appleton learned her Kia Sorento had been stolen.
“I think like still I’m shocked because it’s very personal,” she said. “I feel violated in a way because its all my personal belongings.”
Appleton just bought her car three weeks ago. Inside, she decided to hide all of her 4-year-old’s decorations and presents for his upcoming birthday.
“This was a big birthday for my son,” she said. “With COVID, he wasn’t able to have very many birthday parties in the past, so it was very important that he got a party this year.”
On Sunday night, Danielle Daughtry learned she, too, was now without a car.
“We didn’t notice until we got back home around 7 that it just was not there,” she said. “I was like, I need to put gas in my car and I was like, where is my car.”
Like Appleton, personal items inside her care are now gone.
“There’s a CD from my best friend in high school that passed away that she burnt me,” said Daughtry. “It just sucks that I may never see that either.”
From New Salem Highway to Medical Center Parkway, Murfreesboro police said thieves stole up to 10 Hyundais and Kias.
“It doesn’t take you more than about 30 seconds to be able to circumvent the ignition,” said Sgt. Tommy Massey. “With that being the case and just a small cable, they are able to turn the car on like a key.”
Massey said for the last year and a half, they’ve been dealing with thieves stealing these two brands of cars.
“The cars ultimately get used…sometimes in other crimes,” he said. “They cross our county jurisdictions. A lot of ours wind up in Metro Nashville or Hendersonville, Gallatin, Mt. Juliet, places like that, and vice versa. Theirs wind up here.”
Thanks to TikTok, Massey said they’ve seen more minors, some as young as 12, stealing these cars wherever they see them in the city.
“It’s pretty much from one end of the city limits to the next,” he said. “It’s just that vehicle is an easy target that if they see it in these complexes, they’ll go in and sometimes steal as many as they can in one night.
“I just paid my car off and now TikTok is the reason why this is happening,” said Daughtry.
Right now, all these women can do is wait and remain hopeful police will be able to find their cars.
“I am optimistic,” said Appleton. “I’m trying to manifest my car back, so I guess we’ll see.”
| READ MORE | Latest headlines from Murfreesboro and Rutherford County
Massey said they have had thieves steal cars from local dealerships in the past, but said typically they are able to recover these cars in 48 hours.
According to Massey, trackers like AirPods can help police in tracking a stolen car, but he advises people not to attempt to retrieve their car, saying thieves can be armed with guns.
If you’ve seen these two cars, you are asked to contact Murfreesboro police at 615-893-1311.