Police: 14-year-old driver seriously hurt after crash in stolen Kia

(FOX 9)

A 14-year-old boy who police say was behind the wheel of a stolen Kia is fighting for his life on Monday after an overnight crash in Minneapolis.

Police responded around 10:40 p.m. Sunday for the crash on 39th Avenue North near Upton Avenue in the Victory neighborhood. At the scene, officers found a 14-year-old boy, the only person in the vehicle, seriously hurt.

The teen boy was rushed to North Memorial Medical center where he is being treated for what police called life-threatening injuries. Investigators say speed appears to be a factor in the crash.

Leaping off the crash on Monday, Minneapolis police also shared stats about the ongoing problem of Kia and Hyundai thefts. In 2022, Kias and Hyundais are being stolen at nearly nine times the rate in 2021, going from 250 thefts to 2166 so far this year.

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Police add that 131 Kia or Hyundai vehicles have been stolen more than once with five being stolen on three separate occasions. Police say stolen Kias and Hyundais have also been used to commit other crimes, including being involved in five homicides, 11 shootings, 34 robberies, and 212 hit-and-run accidents.

Police are reminding drivers to take steps to protect their vehicles, especially if they own an affected Kia or Hyundai, including using anti-theft devices, like a steering wheel lock, parking in well-lit areas, locking their doors, and don't leave their keys in their car.

For Kia and Hyundai owners, keys don't matter much as criminals have used an exploit to steal those vehicles.