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West Michigan woman's Kia stolen twice within 24 hours, was trashed and driven nearly 1000 miles

The woman is sharing a wild story of her stolen Kia to raise awareness about the 'Kia Boyz' or 'Kia Gang' crime spree.

KENTWOOD, Mich. — A West Michigan woman is sharing a wild story of her stolen Kia to raise awareness about the 'Kia Boyz' or 'Kia Gang' crime spree.

The Grand Rapids Police Department and Kentwood Police Department have reported groups of teens driving around the region targeting specific Kia and Hyundai vehicles for months.

On top of her 2020 Kia Sportage being trashed, the woman, who didn't want to be identified, told 13 ON YOUR SIDE her car was stolen twice within 24 hours and was found at the scene of a shooting.

This woman was at the Woodland Mall with her daughter around 5:30 PM, Thursday, May 12.

"We were in there less than a half-hour. Maybe 20 minutes and we walk out, car's gone."

She couldn't find her 2020 Kia Sportage in the parking lot and heard nothing of it, until someone spotted two white Kia's in their neighborhood.

"Some lady messaged us off of Facebook and said, pretty sure the car was stolen. She found all of my mail laying in the yard. She videotaped it and sent me a video."

The police found her Kia a few hours later at the scene of a shooting about 15 minutes northwest of the mall on Worden Street SE.

'Had us shook a little that they used the car I drive my kids in to a shooting.' 

She dropped her recovered Kia off at a local auto body shop the same night to repair the smashed broken window and steering column. A week later she and her husband were told by staff that the car was missing...again.

"We talked to the detective and he informed us, they watched the videos and it was stolen on Friday the 13th. We dropped it off at 3:30 in the afternoon and it was stolen at 10:47, right around there." 

It was found at Underwood Avenue where the owner says two juveniles were caught while trying to steal another Kia. 

The thieves put 960 miles on the car, trashed it, scribbled 'Kia Boyz' and 'Kia Girls' on it, broke the front bumper, and dented the roof.

"It's very a violating feeling," said the car owner. "You don't trust people as much anymore and you're always looking over your shoulder." 

She was told the juveniles weren't charged because they weren't physically in her car when they were arrested.

"They're just out there doing it again and again and again and nothing's being done."

Police are still running fingerprints, but this owner wants other Kia owners to be aware this is what the 'Kia Boyz' are up to which is causing financial and mental burdens.

"It's worth the $30 for the [steering wheel] club, but Kia didn't notify us. No one notified us this was an ongoing problem for the last couple years."

A spokesperson for Kia America sent us the following statement Friday afternoon: 

"Kia America is aware of the rise in vehicle thefts of certain trim level vehicles in your area. As of the current 2022 Model Year, all Kia vehicles have an engine immobilizer fitted as standard. All Kia vehicles for sale in the U.S. meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Kia customers with questions regarding their Kia vehicle should contact the Consumer Assistance Center directly at 1-800-333-4542 (4Kia)."

To prevent yourself from becoming a victim police recommend: 

  • Buy a steering wheel lock.
  • Lock your car.
  • Make sure the alarm is on.
  • Park in well-lit areas or garage.
  • Use camera surveillance systems.

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