NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Metro Nashville Police Department arrested a teenager Wednesday for stealing a car out of Clarksville, marking the fourth arrest this year for the 16-year-old.
Police spotted the stolen Hyundai displaying a temporary tag connected to a different car. Kias and Hyundais have become pretty popular for criminals after a TikTok video showed how easy it is to steal them.
“If they’re halfway proficient of what they’re doing, they can have your car broken in the window, inside of it, and gone in less than 30 seconds,” said Sgt. Erik Nash in a video Metro police posted on social media.
The numbers are sobering.
In Nashville alone, 755 Kias and Hyundais have been stolen this year; that’s a 259% increase year over year.
“They’re exploiting a design flaw in the ignition system that allows the car to be started without the presence of a key. It only affects those [cars made from 2010 to 2022] that start with a key,” said Nash.
Wednesday’s incident involved a Hyundai Sonata.
After refusing to pull over, a police helicopter started following the car. The suspect eventually got out of the car on Judd Drive in North Nashville, then darted across multiple backyards before being arrested.
To prevent this from happening to your vehicle, police recommend a wheel lock or at the very least locking your door. If you have a Hyundai or Kia, you are asked to reach out to see if it’s been recalled.
“Call your local dealership. Give them your VIN number, and see if it qualifies,” said Nash.
The teen has been charged with vehicle theft, evading arrest, reckless driving, driving without a license, and possession of burglary tools. He is also currently on probation for three prior vehicle thefts since February.