Police arrest 2 teens for car burglary inspired by social media challenge

Reporter: Elizabeth Biro Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

The Fort Myers Police Department arrested two teenagers for car burglaries inspired by a viral social media trend involving Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

A 13-year-old and 14-year-old proclaimed themselves as the 239 Kia Boys inspired by a 2021 social media trend showing people exploiting a design flaw with Kia and Hyundai vehicles produced from 2011—2022.

FMPD said the pair did this to at least 5 or 6 cars.

Some models were manufactured without an immobilizer, an anti-theft device, thus making it easy to break into the vehicle, mutilate the steering column and exploit the flaw, allowing them to start it without a key.

FMPD reported a recent string of Kia and Hyundai vehicles being broken into that detectives tied to the young teenagers.

The 239 Kia Boys were investigated and identified as suspects by FMPD and Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

The teens were arrested and have been charged with Grand Theft Auto, among other felony charges. They are currently in custody.

Detective Miles Koch from the Fort Myers Police Department believes these boys are not alone.

“So for these specific juveniles, I think this was just them trying to gain the social media likes, maybe thinking they’re having a good time by showing off in front of their friends. But this could very well be a larger scale on separate situations where these vehicles get stolen,” Koch said.

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