String of car thefts causes concern

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 6:26 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Huntington Police are investigating after a string of car thefts across the city.

“Just kind of a real big shock that it’s even happening,” said Marshall University student Abigail Spence.

Police have connected the recovery of six stolen vehicles Tuesday morning and two more that night, all of them either Kia’s or Hyundai’s.

A Marshall University spokesperson says three cars were stolen from a student permit lot on 6th Avenue and another one from the stadium lot.

“I mean, you think on campus property on a campus lot your car is going to be safe, it’s going to be protected,” said student Kacie Haynes.

Spence and Hayne’s Kia’s were stolen from the 6th Avenue lot. Spence’s was one of the six recovered on Guyan Avenue, and Hayne’s car was found Thursday afternoon.

“Thankfully, they didn’t steal anything but there’s still a lot of damage that’s been done to my windows and my ignition,” Spence said.

This theft is making Spence think of ways to keep her car safe.

“I’m thinking about purchasing a steering wheel lock just to insure the safety of my car and that it doesn’t happen again since it’s so easy,” she said. “They’re very expensive especially as a college student.”

Seeing this trend of the stolen vehicles being Kia’s or Hyundai’s, Spence and Haynes says they started to do some research.

“I know a lot of people were posting links to articles, so I guess it’s a security breach in Kia’s and Hyundai’s where people can break in the windows and not trigger the car alarm,” Haynes said. “Then they use the USB port to hot wire them, so that’s definitely a concern for anyone driving a Kia or Hyundai.”

Haynes says she’s alerting her friends to these thefts and it’s causing concern.

“People were like, ‘Oh gosh I drive a Hyundai! I need to go make sure my car is OK’ so it’s becoming a big deal,” she said.

This string of theft is making a woman who lives in Huntington concerned she could be next.

“I’ve never heard of so many cars stolen, that amount in one month. That’s what got my attention, how many cars were being stolen,” she said.

She moved here last year and said she was happy to be close to downtown, but this has changed her mind.

“Here lately with the car thefts and other crimes, I mean me and my family are definitely moving out of Huntington,” she said. “Other people are more or less running me out of my home.”

Until she moves, she’s thinking of upping security around her car to make sure she and her baby stay safe.

“Getting a camera and putting it where I could watch my car anytime I want to on my cell phone,” she said. “As a parent to a young baby, I need my vehicle and just the thought of somebody like taking my only transportation it just really concerns me a whole lot.”

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