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West MI family has two Kias stolen in a couple months as police and prosecutor investigate trend

Seth Henderson's wife's Kia was stolen in May. It was found later that day, involved in a hit-and-run and with $10k damage. Last week, Seth's Kia was also stolen.
Credit: 13 OYS

KENTWOOD, Mich. — In less than two months, Seth Henderson has had both his Kia Soul and his wife's Kia Sportage stolen from the parking lot of their apartment complex. 

"It's the Kia Boyz," said Henderson.

'Kia Boyz' refers to a group of teenagers targeting Kia and Hyundai vehicles in the past few months. It is a trend on TikTok across the country. 

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.

Tuesday, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said he and GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom are very concerned about what is going on with the vehicle thefts. They are exploring ways on how to best respond. 

For Henderson, his wife's Kia was found the same day it was stolen back in May.

"They found it not even five, ten minutes away," said Henderson, "And they took it on a joyride, did a hit-and-run and ditched it." 

Henderson said there was about $10,000 worth of of damage done to the vehicle. 

"The whole side of the passenger side door and the back door was pretty severely dented," said Henderson, "The driver side rear window was busted out. That's how they got in. And then, the whole steering column was ripped apart, and the ignition was on floor."

On July 5, Henderson's Kia Soul was stolen from the same parking lot. It was also found later that day, with about $1,000 worth of damage.

Henderson said he has complained to his apartment complex about security in the parking lot. He said he was told they would increase security with more police driving through. However, he said he works from home, and has yet to see any increase in police presence. 

13 ON YOUR SIDE reached out to the leasing office and corporate office of the complex and have yet to hear back. 

Now, both the Henderson's Kia vehicles are still in the service center. While he praised Fox Kia for their service and help, he said they are "horrendously backed up." 

"With the other 18 Kias they have in the collision center they've gotten in a month," said Henderson. 

He also claimed he spoke with someone at Fox Kia who said they are increasing security on the Kia vehicles on the lot with club steering wheel locks. 

13 ON YOUR SIDE has also reached out to Fox Kia, but has not heard back to confirm the backup at the collision center or the added security on the lot.

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

"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)."

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

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