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APD calls auto theft a trend when teenagers steal vehicles baited with minors


ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) is calling out a trend after they claim two teenagers brought a group of children with them in a stolen bait car over the weekend.

APD released a video of police interviewing one of the teenagers arrested over the weekend. He admitted that he learned to use a screwdriver to get into certain cars from social media.

Officer: “Have you done this before? How did you learn to do this?”
Suspect: “Information.”
Officer: “What do you mean by data?”
Suspect: “Instagram.”

Two teenagers have been charged after allegedly stealing a bait car from a parking lot in northeast Albuquerque on Saturday, APD said.

Chief Harold Medina said officers could hear the driver asking his passengers, including an 11-year-old, a 13-year-old and a 5-year-old, on video recorded by police from inside the decoy car. To back up the car.

The driver admitted to officers that he hit the curb several times because he was “nervous.”

Chief Medina explained that this is a disturbing trend across the country associated with accounts called “Kia Boys”.

Over the past year, APD has seen an increase in thefts of KIA and Hyundai brand vehicles due to a weak design, allowing the vehicles to be started without a key. As many as 50 KIAs and Hyundais have been stolen in a single week in the past few months, APD said.

“They’re seeing these things as a challenge on Instagram, on TikTok. APD Commander Jeff Barnard said they don’t fully understand the danger involved when these things are going on.

Chief Medina is encouraging anyone who owns a KIA or Hyundai in New Mexico to stay on top of the recall as the manufacturer tries to fix the problem affecting thousands of vehicles made between 2010 and 2021.

The department also hopes to begin handing out steering wheel locks to drivers in vin etching events.

Last August, APD also said it was considering suing KIA and Hyundai, but the chief did not have an update on the status of that case.


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