Trotwood woman’s Kia stolen, damaged; Believes thieves used phone charger

TROTWOOD — A Dayton woman shared her experience after she said her car was stolen right in front of her.

The thief used a new technique people are seeing on TikTok. Something Dayton police have said is a growing problem in the city.

“I walked outside to go to my car to get ready to leave for work and my car drove off in front of me,” Lous Woods said.

Down the road her 2022 Blue Kia Seltos went.

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“It clicked, your cars being stolen, you need to call the police,” Woods said.

Dayton police are warning people thieves are stealing cars, specifically Kia’s and Hyundai’s.

“Criminals have discovered a new method to attack these vehicles and are having a greater than average success with it,” Major Jason Hall with Dayton Police Department said.

Investigators think a viral TikTok challenge is responsible for the uptick here in the Miami Valley and across the country.

“I knew of the challenge beforehand. That’s why I said I try to keep my car secure and have my garage light on it,” Woods said.

She did everything police said car owners should do to prevent this from happening. Her car even came with an alarm.

But Woods said the alarm did not go off.

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Thieves are using USB cords to start certain Kia and Hyundai models which need a physical key.

Woods said she did have USB phone charger in her car before it was stolen and has a physical key.

When Trotwood police found Woods car at an apartment complex on Shiloh Springs Road it was badly damaged.

“There is body damage. Of course the steering column has been cracked and damaged,” she said.

She has a $1,000 insurance deductible and is still waiting to find out how much it will cost to fix all the damage.

“They’ll take it to a body shop or mechanic and get an estimate, see what other damages there are and proceed from there,” Woods said.

Police told Woods they think the thieves were kids but never caught them.

“Think about the consequences of your actions. Think about what your action is going to do to you family or parents,” Woods said.

Police provided these additional suggestions to help keep you car safe:

  • Lock doors & take your keys
  • Don’t leave a spare key in vehicle
  • Close windows
  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Install alarm system & anti-theft device
  • Install vehicle immobilizer system &/or tracking system