YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Police Department is warning residents about a rise in automobile thefts.

A release sent out by police says both Kia and Hyundai vehicles are being targeted after a TikTok challenge has caused a nationwide surge in auto thefts.

“Certain model Kias and Hyundais are being stolen at alarmingly high rates,” the release states.

Most Kia vehicles that have been affected are 2011-2021 models that require a key to start the vehicle and most Hyundai vehicles being affected are 2016-2021 models such as Accent, Elantra, Sonata, Veloster, Venue, Kona, Tuscon, Santa Fe and Palisade.

Police are recommending several tips to help prevent any vehicle thefts:

  1. Use a steering wheel lock
  2. Don’t leave your keys or a spare key in the car
  3. Try and park in well-lit areas
  4. Utilize tracking features such as OnStar, Uconnect and Kia Connect, etc.
  5. Keep a GPS tag in your car