MD Detectives Host Steering Wheel Lock Giveaway Amid Ubiquitous Car Thefts


According to WBFF Baltimore, in just one month, Howard County police closed a total of eight Hyundai and Kia thefts, part of a nationwide trend, through recent arrests.


Police say 19-year-old Xavier Mitchell, of Laurel, has been charged in seven vehicle thefts/attempts between August and October in Columbia, Laurel, and a neighboring jurisdiction.


Following his lead is a15-year-old male whose been charged in a separate case from March 16 that occurred in Columbia, according to police. Moreover, the targeted vehicle is Hyudai’s and Kia’s. Apparently, those vehicles are easy to hijack.

The Community is Fighting Back Against the Thefts

Residents are encouraged to take steps to make their vehicles less likely to be targeted:

  • Contact Hyundai (toll-free at 800-633-5151) or Kia (toll-free at 800-333-4542) for information on their anti-theft software update.
  • Use a steering wheel lock. Even if the vehicle is started, it cannot be operated if the wheel lock is in place properly.
  • Practice standard vehicle theft safety measures such as parking in a secured access lot or personal garage if possible.
  • Always lock your doors and consider activating tracking software or adding a tracking device such as an AirTag to make it easier to locate if stolen.

Further, police have organized a Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council grant-funded steering wheel lock giveaway for owners of 2016-2021 Hyundais and 2011-2021 Kias that require a traditional key to start. 


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Eboni Brown

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