3 stolen Kia vehicles recovered in Macomb County amid spike in thefts

Macomb County authorities recently recovered three stolen Kia vehicles after receiving numerous stolen car reports in the past two weeks.

On April 18, a Macomb County Sheriff’s deputy spotted a blue Kia reported stolen April 1. The deputy informed the Macomb Auto Theft Squad (MATS), and surveillance was started on the car on a Clinton Township street. 

MORE: Kia, Hyundai thefts prompt Michigan AG, 16 other states to demand recall

Early April 19, the Kia was seen on a street in Harrison Township, along with a black Kia, which was also stolen. 

As MATS detectives surveilled those two vehicles, a stolen silver Kia drove by. Authorities started pursuing it but terminated the chase. The driver had hit a curb, damaging the tires, and eventually pulled over near 14 Mile and Harper in St. Clair Shores. 

Authorities said the driver, identified as a 17-year-old girl, fled on foot but was caught and taken to the Juvenile Justice Center without further incident.

As authorities were trying to stop the silver Kia, the black Kia was spotted pulling into the parking lot of Pankow Learning Center. A 17-year-old girl left the vehicle and went to class. The school liaison officer and school security officer were contacted, and the suspect was removed from class.

However, the Juvenile Justice System denied lodging for the girl and she was released. Authorities said they filed a Juvenile petition with the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office.

The unoccupied stolen blue Kia was recovered on a street in Harrison Township.

Read: 5 teens arrested after fleeing west Michigan deputies in stolen Kia

"We are grateful to ATPA (Auto Theft Prevention Authority), Hyundai, and Kia for their efforts in helping to deter crime in our communities. Our MATS unit, which receives funding from ATPA, has been overwhelmed with thefts and the statistics are only rising. I can’t encourage you enough to keep your doors locked and remove your valuables when you are not in your vehicle," Anthony M. Wickersham said.

Kia and Hyundai vehicles with keyed ignitions lack an immobilizer, which makes them easy to quickly steal.

In an attempt to curb these thefts, the automakers have provided free steering wheel locks, which can be picked up at the front desk of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, and Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, Roseville, and Centerline Police Departments.

Related: Detroit Kia, Hyundai thefts prompt giveaways of steering wheel locks

The automakers have also implemented what they say is a fix to this issue – a voluntary software update.