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Owner of stolen car hopes to see swift end to rash of thefts

Oyston's car was eventually found by police roughly 10 miles from his home.

KENTWOOD, Mich. — Last week, we reported that Hyundai and Kia cars are being targeted in Grand Rapids and Kentwood. A viewer contacted us after seeing the story because his car was one of them.

Kentwood Police say the thefts are targeting 2012 to 2022 Kia Sportage and Optima vehicles, plus Hyundai vehicles with a standard key ignition. John Oysten's 2020 Kia fits the bill, and that's why he believes it went missing early last week.

"My car was parked in right here," says Oyston, motioning to his parking space. "Judging by the glass that's still on the ground, it looks like they broke into my back window."

Oyston had just parked his car in the spot a few hours before. Which is why he was shocked when he was woken up.

"About 1:30 a.m., Monday morning is when the police knocked on my door, say my car was stolen," says Oyston.

The car, gone. Directly from outside the window where he was sleeping.

"It shocked me," says Oyston. "I didn't sleep the rest of the night. And then I had trouble sleeping the next night."

Oyston's lived in the community for about five years and never expected this. The car, not the only thing lost. His wallet was inside.

"All that money was in there, my driver's license," says Oyston.

Kentwood Police Department told us they believe the stolen vehicles, 24 reported since May 1st, are being targeted.

"Typically it's a group of kids doing this or younger adults," says Sgt. Tim Wierenga. "And they go around in a group targeting large parking lots where they can go through a lot of cars quickly, is my guess."

Something Oyston agrees with, having noticed graffiti in his parking lot the day after his car was stolen that wasn't there before.

"Kind of like they were watching my vehicle," says Oyston.

Police suggested to Oyston he install a kill switch in his car, but he would still like to see more done.

"There should be more of a police presence to where we shouldn't have to install stuff in a vehicle," says Oyston.

Oyston's car was found by police in downtown Grand Rapids, roughly 10 miles from his home. He says he still has been unable to see it, however, to know what kind of damage was done.

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