Breaking: UPD notifies of suspects in attempted KIA thefts


This past Monday at approximately 11:35 p.m., the University Police Department (UPD) responded to a reported theft in the Atwood apartment complex parking lot. According to a report sent out by Chief of Police Adam Brown this afternoon, a KIA was successfully stolen on Monday night.

In a second incident last night at around 12:50 a.m., a suspect was identified by a UPD officer in the process of attempting to steal a KIA while driving another stolen one at the scene of the incident. The community should keep eyes out for a vehicle with Connecticut license plate 577GGR.

These incidents are part of an ongoing open investigation.

According to Brown, these are similar to thefts of KIA brand vehicles taking place across the United States.

A viral online trend, started on TikTok last fall, is the source of enticement for targeting these vehicles, and rates of theft are still at a notable high.

In response to the incidents this past week, Deputy Chief Brett Mahomey provided more insight on campus vehicular safety.

After clarifying that targeted vehicles are KIA models manufactured from 2011-2021 and Hyundai models from 2015-2021, since they possess a manufacturer issue that makes them more targeted for theft, Mahomey provided a list of tactics for students to consider when handling their vehicles on campus.

This list included advice to park in well-lit areas, never leave your car locked and running, not to leave your fob or valuables in your vehicle that could entice someone to it and to consider investing in an anti-theft system.

Mahomey said that “In our case at the University, parking on campus or in gated lots are helpful as the license plate reader system detects stolen vehicles attempting to enter campus and lets the police department know immediately.”

After saying that “We are trying to ascertain any student or faculty that has a KIA or Hyundai in the years mentioned above by using our parking system so we can let them know specifically about this issue,” Mahomey voiced that he is welcoming campus community members to contact him to speak in order to prevent what he referred to as more “possible victimization.” He can be reached via email at [email protected].

To identify the vehicles pictured in the released flyer to the university community or any other suspicious activity, UPD requests that community members to call 203-932-7014 or use the LiveSafe app.