The Kent Police Department in King County, Washington, will be giving out free steering wheel locks to some vehicle owners amid a rise in auto theft, according to the police department.
Owners of a Kia or a Hyundai made before 2021 with a key start ignition will soon be able to receive a steering wheel lock from the police department in an effort to make it “harder for those that are looking to steal cars,” according to the Kent Police Department. Thefts of Kia and Hyundai cars in Seattle rose from 363% and 503% from 2021 to 2022, according to Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison’s office. (RELATED: Major School District Sues Big Tech Companies For Allegedly Harming Kids’ Mental Health)
“We will be giving them out on set distribution days and will get those dates out as soon as we have received the locks,” the police department said Monday. “Please continue to check back for dates/times. Please remember to: park in well-lit areas, remove all valuables from vehicle, lock vehicle and make sure windows are rolled up, install a security system [and] install a kill switch.”
In January, Davison’s office filed a lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai alleging that because the car manufacturers had failed to install anti-theft technology in some of its cars, there has been an “exponential increase” in stolen cars in the city.
The Seattle Police Department saw a 620% increase in reported stolen Hyundai and Kia vehicles from July 2021 to July 2022, Davison’s office stated.
“Kia and Hyundai chose to cut corners and cut costs at the expense of their customers and the public,” Davison said in a January press release. “As a result, our police force has had to tackle a huge rise in vehicle theft and related problems with already stretched resources. Now Seattle taxpayers must shoulder the burden of the increase in theft.”
The Kent Police Department, Kia and Hyundai did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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