File photo.

The St. Petersburg Police Department took to Facebook this morning to warn residents and visitors that 2 specific brands of cars are being stolen more than any other. They say out of the 56 cars reported stolen in the past 3 weeks, 23 of them have been models from Kia or Hyundai. That’s almost HALF. Why?

They say that their investigators have found that car thieves are taking advantage of a weakness in those particular cars. Crooks look for unlocked vehicles. When they find one, jackpot. They can then break into the steering column to start the car and drive off.

Key

St. Petersburg Police Tweet

The St. Pete Police Department says it’s specifically Kia and Hyundai models made until 2021. If you have a new car, it doesn’t that particular vulnerability. 2022 models don’t use the old style key so they’re not attractive to criminals. But what if you have a Kia or Hyundai that’s more than a year old… what should you do?

If you’re heading to a Rays game or visiting one of those restaurants downtown, St. Pete police say the obvious answer is to simply lock your car. Every time. If they can’t access your steering wheel, they won’t be able to drive off in your car.

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