ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - A nationwide trend of stealing specific makes of cars has made its way to the metro. Some law enforcement officials in the Twin Cities said they've seen an uptick in stolen Hyundais and Kias.
Across the country, Hyundais and Kias of certain years are being targeted because they're easier to start without a key than other cars.
Glass shards on the ground mark the only remnants of Theresa Jones' Silver Kia Soul. It was stolen Thursday just steps from her home in south Minneapolis in broad daylight.
"I'm like, 'wait a minute. No, it was right there,' and I'm pointing to where I parked it. And my mind at that point just got blown. Like, are you kidding me?" Jones said.
The car, which she shares with her mom, Lynda Pierce, was taken just days before their first car payment. They only had it for six weeks.
"It's just very disturbing, I mean, it's like entering your domain," Pierce said.
Their story is a familiar one in other parts of the country, where Kias and Hyundais are stolen off the streets in seconds. Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher even referenced the issue on Friday's "Live on Patrol." Fletcher told his Facebook and YouTube followers the issue is particularly bad in Milwaukee, where a group of teens calling themselves the "Kia Boys" steal cars across the city.
"You gotta watch the YouTube videos about the Kia Boys in Milwaukee. It's spreading all over the country. Someone's got to get to Kia and convince them to recall those cars," Fletcher said in the video. "(If you watch the videos) you'll see what we're up against here in the metro and the latest month has been a huge uptick. In Milwaukee, two-thirds of their stolen cars are Kias and Hyundais, and they've literally had 10,000 of them stolen."
St. Paul police told Fox 9 they've seen an increase in stolen Kias and Hyundais, and they think the trend is concerning.
"This is not the world I grew up in. We respected everybody's stuff and respected ourselves. These people don't respect anything," Pierce said.
Mother-daughter duo Pierce and Jones said if they had known these cars were so easy to steal, they would have bought something else.
"No, I would not have gotten a Kia Soul," Jones said.
Police in Milwaukee have told Hyundai and Kia owners to buy steering wheel locks, and if they can, to invest in security systems and park in secure garages.