American youth stealing cars after learning from social media

American youth stealing cars after learning from social media: Such incidents increased in many cities; Cases registered against companies whose cars were stolen

Mar 13, 2023 - 09:58
American youth stealing cars after learning from social media

Truck drivers have been waiting in line for six hours to unload goods near an old factory in downtown Memphis. Some people are waiting to get their stolen vehicles back. Around 2700 cars are kept on the grounds. The car rush is the result of a surge in vehicle thefts in Memphis and other US cities.
At least two companies—Kia and Hyundai—have more stolen vehicles. This has led some cities to file lawsuits against the companies. A state attorney general has opened an investigation into the companies. Last year, 11,000 cars were stolen in Memphis. These are double from 2021. A third of these cars are new models from Kia and Hyundai. It does not take much effort to open them. Social media is flooded with videos of cars being unlocked. All it requires is a screwdriver, USB card, and hot-wiring information.
Police say many criminals are teenagers or youth. They use them for picnics, robberies and other crimes. More than half of the 175 people arrested for car theft in Memphis are teenagers. They often leave the vehicles on the roadside after roaming around for some time.
Car theft incidents had increased in US cities amid the Coronavirus epidemic. According to the Criminal Justice Organization, some crimes increased across the country in 2020 and 2021. Last year there was a slight decline in them. But, these are more than pandemic days. Crime experts say vehicle thefts spiked at the beginning of the pandemic because people were indoors.
During the day, cars stayed on the streets instead of in secure parking near offices. But, the thefts continued to increase. Social media videos also have a role to play in this. The video explains how to steal Kia and Hyundai cars.
Both South Korean cars have grown in popularity in America. Last year, they accounted for 10 percent of total vehicle sales in the US. The companies recently released statements saying that they have solved the problem of their new models being easily stolen. Has upgraded software in 45 lacks Kia and 38 lahks Hyundai cars.
The companies have sent steering wheel locks with it to police departments across the US. These will be given free of cost to car owners whose cars are at risk of theft. Representatives for YouTube and TikTok said they have removed several videos called the Kiya Challenge. YouTube said it will allow some videos to remain if they are educational, documentary, scientific or artistic in nature.
The cities of Seattle and Columbus have sued car makers for not installing anti-theft technology in their cars. Minnesota State Attorney General Keith Ellison said he is investigating whether the companies broke his state's consumer protection and public peace restoration laws.
There was a tremendous increase in car theft incidents in the US amid the virus epidemic. All areas were affected by this crime. The Criminal Justice Council has reviewed the situation in 30 cities. Vehicle theft incidents increased by 21 percent last year as compared to 2021. 37560 cars were stolen in these cities. Car snatching falls under the category of violent crime.
Their count is different from theft. Such incidents have increased in some cities. The connection to social media is only part of the problem, says Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri, and lead author of the council's report. No definite reason can be given for the incidents of vehicle theft.

Muskan Kumawat Journalist & Writer