YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A rash of car thefts — First News has picked up seven reports of stolen Kias or attempted thefts in the past week from Youngstown police. We spoke with one of the victims about her stressful experience.

“It happened in a minute, under a minute,” said Shirley Vincik, whose Kia was stolen out of her driveway.

Security footage of Vincik’s driveway shows just how fast her car was stolen. Her daughter woke her up just after midnight on Saturday.

“She saw the brake lights come on, next thing she saw was a car going down the driveway,” Vincik said.

The security video shows a man walking up to her car. A few minutes later, lights come on in the cabin, and then it’s gone, flying down her N. Bon Air Avenue driveway.

“Thank God my kids found the car,” Vincik said.

While Vincik made a police report, her kids drove around the neighborhood hitting the panic button on her key fob. They found the car just a block away an hour later at an abandoned house on Wesley Avenue.

“The ignition itself is hanging down. They busted the plastic off the bottom. The top is broken off,” Vincik said.

Vincik says the thief even left tools in the vehicle.

Her windows weren’t broken and she says her car was locked. She’s not sure how it was stolen.

Vincik is far from the only one dealing with this issue in Youngstown. Over the weekend, we found several other Youngstown police reports of other stolen Kias in the area, including a Kia stolen from Hollywood Avenue on Saturday and from Winona Drive overnight Friday into Saturday. Plus, several other reports of Kias with smashed windows or stripped ignitions from around the city.

Vincik had her car towed for repairs. She says she’s planning on installing a kill switch to prevent this, but the theft has been a financial burden.

“I can’t afford what’s going to happen here because I have to pay a deductible to get it fixed,” Vincik said.

Officers with the Youngstown Police Department say over 10 juveniles have been charged in connection with recent Kia thefts, though none in Vincik’s case. YPD says some have been charged with grand theft auto and others with receiving stolen property. A few individuals are facing multiple charges. Those will be heard in juvenile court.

The following is a list of locations from the police reports:

  • 100 block of N. Bon Air Avenue (stolen Kia of Shirley Vincik)
  • 1900 block of Elm Street (stolen Kia, later found)
  • 800 block of Winona Drive (stolen Kia)
  • 100 block of Hollywood Avenue (stolen Kia)
  • 2400 block of Wilcox Street (damage to a Kia)
  • 100 block of S. Hazelwood Avenue (damage to a Kia)
  • 400 block of Winchester Avenue (damage to a Kia)
Stolen or damaged Kias in Youngstown