FORT MYERS, Fla. — There is a trend on Tik Tok called the ‘Kia Boyz’, videos where young people show how to break in and steal Kias and Hyundais cars without anti-theft devices. On Thursday, Fort Myers Police arrested two teenagers for similar schemes.
"They have renamed themselves the '239 Kia Boyz' because they are more local," said FMPD Detective Miles Koch.
Two teens, age 14 and 15, are facing numerous felony charges after several vehicle burglaries and attempted grand theft of a motor vehicle. Police say the teens are connected to at least 5 or 6 vehicles in and around the Metro/Winkler area.
"We have been working with Lee County, because apparently these juveniles that were doing it, were stealing cars out of the City of Fort Myers Area and going out to the Lehigh Area hiding cars out or when those cars broke down or ran out of gas or anything, they would steal more Kias and return to the city," said Koch.
As part of the trend the two teens posted videos of the theft on an Instagram account.
"In those videos you could see them,” said Koch. “They are not pictured of their face, but they are driving around Kias with center consoles ripped out, the whole car destroyed and torn to bits."
In this arrest, a citizen took it into his whole hands and tackled one of the teens, something that could be very dangerous for all involved.
"You might run away from somebody and running into middle of traffic and getting hurt…or maybe you end up going on somebody's property and they take it into their own hands protect their property and themselves," said Koch
Detective Koch gave a stern warning to anyone considering this crime.
"If I find probable cause to arrest any of these juveniles later on down the line,” said Koch. “Those arrests will be made. Is that going to be worth it to you guys for social media trend? Just to gain some likes on your social media platform."
As a whole, car thefts are on the rise across the nation, with more than 1 million stolen last year. And in Florida, about 46,000 stolen vehicles last year.
For those who do own Kias or Hyundais between 2011 and 2022, dealerships will provide a free software update that updates the theft alarm software to vehicles without an immobilizer. Just contact them for information on your next steps.