Deputies: Four teens found riding in stolen Kia amid spike in car thefts

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RUSH, N.Y. – Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said they arrested four teens for riding in a stolen Kia car on Wednesday morning.

This comes amid concerns that young people are stealing Kia and Hyundai cars because of how-to videos circulating on social media. Rochester Police reported on Tuesday that nearly 70% of the 169 cars reported stolen this year were either a Kia or Hyundai. On Kia owner in the city said someone has tried to steal his Kia three times since Christmas.

Deputies say they spotted a 2018 Kia Soul with smashed windows just before 2 a.m. traveling down Rush Scottsville Road. They said the car was reported stolen in the city hours earlier.

Deputies said that, before they could pull over the car, it stopped and the passengers ran. Deputies caught one of the passengers immediately and the rest ran into a nearby woodland.

Infrared technology was used to catch and arrest the other three teenagers. All four are charged with possession of stolen property. Three of them are from Rochester, two 15-year-olds and one 14-year-old. The other is a 15-year-old from Syracuse. The teens were issued appearance tickets and released to their parents or guardians.

Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean spoke about the stolen car arrest with MCSO Major Jeff Wagner.

Brean: “Does it shock you or surprise you that when your deputy pulled this car over inside were a bunch of 14 and 15 year olds?”

Wagner: “I don’t know if shock or surprise is a word I would use. We have seen an increase in juvenile crime.”

Wagner says a lot of the reported stolen cars his deputies deal with were unlocked and running.

“If anyone is going into the gas station, they gas up their car and go grab that cup of coffee, turn the car off, take the keys and lock the door. Turn the car off. takes The keys and lock the door,” he said.

In a statement, the sheriff’s office said:

“MCSO is proud of the proactive policing our deputies perform and their coordination of efforts to address the ongoing scourge of stolen vehicles in Monroe County. We remain committed to the safety of our community and will continue to do everything we can to address this unacceptable pattern of vehicle thefts.”