2 Teenagers Arrested in String of Kia Thefts


DELTONA, Fla. - Two Deltona teenagers have been arrested for their suspected roles in a series of Kia thefts. According to a statement from the Volusia Sheriff's Office, the thefts are associated with a trend on the social media app TikTok.

The arrest was made after deputies happened to spot a Kia Soul that'd been reported stolen on December 19th. Their sighting came just minutes after it was reported, and so a pursuit began. The occupants of the Soul reportedly fled the deputies, and managed to evade them long enough to crash the car and ditch it.

Eventually the two suspects were tracked down in the area and arrested after a deputy threatened to let loose a K9 on them if they continued to run. Both of the suspects, ages 17 and 15, were taken into custody and charged with multiple counts of grand theft of a motor vehicle, criminal mischief, and violation of probation. Deputies were reportedly able to tie them to multiple other similar thefts.

The TikTok trend behind the thefts arose in late 2022 and early 2023. According to a report by Vox, both Kias and Hyundais were stolen at a much higher rate after users began posting about flaws in the cars' locks and security systems. The phenomenon was dubbed the 'Kia Challenge'.