Area police department reports over 600% increase in Kia, Hyundai thefts

A major spike in Kia and Hyundai thefts have been reported across the Miami Valley.

Dayton Police Department has reported thefts of those cars has jumped more than 600 percent from last year.

“We are seeing more of a centralized location in Northwest and Southeast Dayton ... where these cars are being recovered,” DPD Lieutenant Mark Ponichtera said.

Ponichtera said there are cases where teenagers as young as 11 or 12 years old are taking part in the “Kia Boys” challenge.

Recently, the Ohio State Highway Patrol was involved in a chase with a stolen Kia where weapons were found in the car, adding to the danger.

>> RELATED: Ohio residents file lawsuit against Kia, Hyundai over vehicle thefts

With hundreds of cars being stolen around the area, News Center 7′s Dontre Drexelius spoke with a Kia owner about how this makes them feel.

“I feel pretty safe about it. I parked in a very well-lit area in my driveway. I have cameras and motion detectors. I make sure I don’t leave anything in my car and obviously lock it up,” Jaime Scott said.

Scott had one thing to say about the social media challenge.

“Parents need to know where their kids are at first of all ... and better control them then what they do,” Scott said.

People in at least eight states, including Ohio, have filed a class action lawsuit against Hyundai and Kia.

The city of St. Louis plans to file a lawsuit if something isn’t done by Sept. 19.

The city of Dayton isn’t planning to file a lawsuit at this time.