In a recent spate of thefts involving Hyundai and Kia vehicles, violence has escalated following the shooting of a Cleveland police officer.
The Cleveland Division of Police (CPD) reports that, in the wake of the March 21 shooting of an officer, a series of thefts targeting Hyundai and Kia vehicles has become more dangerous.
The officer, who was not identified, was responding to a carjacking call when the shooting occurred. The suspect, who was later arrested, fired shots at the officer, who sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
Since the shooting, CPD says it has seen an increase in the number of stolen Hyundai and Kia vehicles. Many of these thefts have become increasingly violent, with reports of suspects ramming vehicles to escape and engaging officers in dangerous car chases.
In response, CPD has increased its presence in areas where the thefts are occurring and is using technology to monitor and track stolen cars.
“We have stepped up our enforcement efforts and deployed additional resources to areas where we have seen an uptick in these types of thefts,” said CPD Chief Calvin Williams. “We are also using technology to help us track these vehicles, and we are working with the manufacturers to ensure these vehicles are as secure as possible.”
Hyundai and Kia have also responded to the situation, stressing the importance of safety and security.
“At Hyundai and Kia, we understand the importance of safety and security and have taken a number of steps to ensure our vehicles are as secure as possible,” said a spokesperson for the automakers. “We are working closely with law enforcement to improve security features of our vehicles and are developing more advanced technologies to aid in the prevention of vehicle theft.”
The CPD is warning the public to be vigilant and take extra precautions to protect their vehicles.
“We want to remind people to always lock their cars and never leave them running and unattended,” Chief Williams said. “We also encourage people to install anti-theft devices and be aware of their surroundings.”
The CPD is urging anyone with information about the thefts to come forward.
“We need the public’s help to stop these thefts,” Chief Williams said. “If you see something suspicious, please contact us immediately.”