The Vancouver Police Department and Clark County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday they have seen a spike in thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles over the past several weeks.
The thefts are part of a national trend that affects a number of Kia and Hyundai models built between 2011 and 2021.
Locally, most of the thieves are juveniles, and several witnesses to the vehicle thefts have been threatened with violence, the agencies said.
Several firearms left inside the vehicles were also stolen, according to police.
The Kia models most at risk are 2011–2021 Forte, 2021–2022 K5, 2011–2020 Optima, 2011–2021 Rio, 2011–2021 Sedona, 2021–2022 Seltos, 2010–2022 Soul, 2011–2022 Sorento and 2011–2022 Sportage.
The most vulnerable Hyundai models are 2011–2022 Accent, 2011–2022 Elantra, 2013–2017 Elantra GT, 2013–2014 Elantra Coupe, 2011–2012 Elantra Touring, 2011–2014 Genesis Coupe, 2018–2022 Kona, 2020–2021 Palisade, 2011–2012 and 2019–2022 Santa Fe, 2013–2018 and 2019 Santa Fe and Santa Fe XL, 2013–2018 Santa Fe Sport, 2011–2019 Sonata, 2011–2022 Tucson, 2012–2017 and 2019–2021 Veloster, 2020–2021 Venue and 2011–2012 Veracruz.
Law enforcement encourages owners to check with their local Kia or Hyundai dealer to see if their vehicle is eligible for a manufacturer security software update. Consider using a steering wheel lock device; putting a tracking device in the vehicle; and installing an alarm system; and park in well-lit areas, preferably with visible security cameras.
Police also ask people to not leave firearms or other valuables inside their vehicles.