Owners of a particular car model have been warned they could be targeted after a disturbing new TikTok trend went viral.
The Kia challenge appeared earlier this month and involves starting the car with a USB cable instead of a key.
It all started when TikTok user @robbierayyy posted a video of Kia starting up using just a USB cable.
The video has since been removed.
It was rapidly developed with input from other users to see if this trick could connect their cars.
But this trend has dangerous consequences and is linked to an increase in car thefts abroad.
Bill Gardiner and his wife Kim know this story all too well. They told the current case their brand new Kia has recently become the victim of a craze.
The footage shows that in the dead of night, two people broke the glass of the car.
“From there, one of the offenders can be seen standing in the middle of the street with his phone, as if he is filming a person in a car or shouting out instructions,” said Bill Nine.
The would-be thieves eventually gave up after failing to start the car.
But the two criminals tried the same trick on the door of another Kia parked next to Kim.
Both cars had the same damage: a broken rear window and a removed casing around the steering column.
Kim said that once she was alerted to the TikTok trend, the damage done by the offenders “makes sense.”
The husband and wife urged Kia owners to park their cars in a garage or a safe place overnight.
“I’d say it’s gone viral in the United States now, that there will be a few more posts like this over the next week or so,” Bill said.
TikTok encourages anyone who stumbles upon any “Kia Challenge” videos to report them so they can be removed.
Originally published as Dangerous new TikTok trend raises car theft alerts