According to media reports and a St. Ambrose email warning, thieves are now able to steal a car and charge a phone with the same cord. Grand theft auto is not a new issue on campus by any means, the only difference is now most thefts are targeted towards students that own Kia vehicles.
Kias and Hyundais have been the targets by carjackers nationwide for a few months now, since the group infamously known as the” Kia Boys” went viral on TikTok. They were originally a group of people stealing Kias around the Milwaukee area in Wisconsin, and now the term “Kia Boy” is used to describe anyone who exclusively targets Kias.
The reason that Kias have become so popular to steal is due to how easy they are to take. Generally speaking, you only need the USB plug in on any Android or older iPhone cable to be able to start and take the car. Another factor that encourages the break ins is the fact that the car alarm on Kias has been known to be faulty and not always go off when necessary.
Speaking with St. Ambrose senior and Kia owner, Cole Negen, he explained his concerns when it comes to his own vehicle’s safety. When asked if he felt secure that his car would not be broken into or stolen Negen said, “I can’t say with 100% certainty that I do feel secure that my car won’t get broken into.”
Negen is from Clarksville which is a small town in Northeast Iowa, a place with a general absence of crime. He went on to explain that this was also a new issue for him to deal with while being on campus as opposed to being at home. “There’s such little crime that before I started coming to school here,” Negen said, “I never locked my car.”
Cole owns a Kia which puts a bullseye on his car whenever he parks it. He explained that he developed the habit of locking his car to ensure his own security. He even talked about how one of his own friends got their car stolen on campus twice last semester.
A Campus email earlier this semester, alerted students to the thefts and reported both car theft incidents happened on campus so far have involved a Kia and a Hyundai and each took place in the Cosgrove and McCarthy Hall parking lots, respectively.
SAU Security emailed out tips for car safety that included details such as downloading LiveSafe which is a mobile safety app where you can report incidents to campus security, place emergency phone calls, and other measures like virtually escorting a friend back to their destination.
Also included in the alert were suggestions where to buy steering wheel locks, the numbers to Kia and Hyundai support lines, as well as the Davenport Police and campus security phone numbers.
St. Ambrose University security weren’t available to comment on this story.