A TikTok challenge may be linked to a teen’s fatal car crash

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Police: TikTok challenge possibly linked to teen’s fatal car crash



BILL: OMAHA POLICE SAYS social media trends are to blame for people breaking into and stealing cars. GOOD EVENING. I WAS BILL SHAMERT. THANK YOU FOR JOINING. CERTAIN MODELS OF HYUNDAI AND KIA VEHICLES ARE TARGETED BY THIEVES. AS KETV NEWSWATCH 7’S JOEY SAFCIK SAYS, THESE CRIMES ARE PERMITTED BY CHILDREN FIRST. JOEY? CORRESPONDENT: BILL, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE EXCITED ABOUT ONE OF THE LATEST TIKTOK CHALLENGES. AND NOW THE POLICE ARE FACED IN THEIR OWN CALL AS THEY ARE REPORTING CERTAIN TYPES OF CAR THEFTS. IF YOU DRIVE A HYUNDAI OR KIA THAT NEEDS A KEY TO START THE ENGINE, YOU MIGHT WANT TO PARK IT IN A GARAGE OR GET A STEERING WHEEL SO YOU DON’T SEE WHEN YOUR CAR GETS 15 SECONDS OF TIKTOK ANGER. THE TRENDING TIKTOK CALL IS A SERIES OF BREAKS AND THEFTS. PER OMAHA POLICE. >> I LIKE it, leaned over and looked and there was glass all over the seat. CORRESPONDENT: THIS SECURITY VIDEO SHOWS VANDALS BREAKING INTO SIMONA’S 2013 HYUNDAI RENTAL. IN HER WORK AREA. AS YOU CAN SEE, THEY RAN AWAY ON FOOT, BUT THE WHEEL WAS BROKEN. >> THIS IS SO STRESSFUL. CORRESPONDENT: OMAHA POLICE SAY 126 HYUNDAIS AND KIA’S WERE STOLEN IN THE FIRST 7 MONTHS OF 2020, UP TO 131 IN 2021. THIS YEAR, THAT NUMBER HAS GROWN TO 230. >> WE HAVE A COUPLE OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN STOLEN. CORRESPONDENT: Mostly teenagers. SOME BASIC EVIDENCE? THESE TICKETS. POLICE TELL KETV Newswatch 7 THE CARS YOU SEE HERE HAVE BEEN VIEWED THOUSANDS OF TIMES HAVE BEEN STOLEN. >> THEY ARE TRYING TO HANG THEIR VIEWS OR CLICKS, WHATEVER IT IS. REPORTER: TIKTOK MAY BE NEW AND EARLY, BUT OMAHA’S SMARTGEN COMMUNITY SAYS KIDS ARE MAKING QUESTIONABLE CHOICES TO KEEP UP WITH THEIR PEERS, IT’S A TREND AS OLD AS TIME. >> THEIR BRAINS ARE NOT FULLY DEVELOPED YET, EVEN IF THEY FEEL HOW. CORRESPONDENT: OUR METRO VIEWERS SHARED THESE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS, PROMPTING FURTHER INVESTIGATION BY THE DEPARTMENT. >> THEY hijack this vehicle. THEY GET A LITTLE BIT, THEY GET THE VIDEO AND THEN THEY GIVE UP ON IT. CORRESPONDENT: BUT THEIR ROWING LEAVES SOMEONE LIKE SIMON ON THE SHELL. >> MY INSURANCE DOESN’T COVER IT. IT WILL BE ABOUT 1000 DOLLARS. CORRESPONDENT: BUT THE POLICE AND THE INTELLIGENT WANT TO DISCOURAGE KIDS FROM THIS CALL, BECAUSE THEY WILL GET DIRECTLY INTO LEGAL PROBLEMS. >> THIS CHALLENGE IS BASED ON BECAUSE THEY FEEL LIKE NOBODY CAN TELL THEM, SO THEY EXCLUDE THEIR ACTION. CORRESPONDENT: THE POLICE CAN’T STOP THE TIK-TOCK TREND, BUT THEY SAY THEY ARE WORKING WITH AT-RISK YOUTH, HOPING TO PULL THE BRAKES ON THESE CALLS BEFORE IT GETS FAR AWAY. IF YOU FIND THE VIDEOS AND RECOGNIZE THE PEOPLE IN THEM, CALL CRIME STUDY AT 402-444-STOP

Police: TikTok challenge possibly linked to teen’s fatal car crash


A car crash that killed four teenagers may have been linked to a TikTok challenge, the police commissioner said. A total of six teenagers were in a speeding Kia that crashed around 6:30 a.m. Monday, Buffalo police said. The car was stolen on Sunday evening. All five passengers were ejected from the vehicle, police said. Four of them aged between 14 and 17 were killed. The fifth passenger was hospitalized in intensive care, and the 16-year-old driver was treated at the hospital and released. The driver was charged Tuesday. It is unclear if he has an attorney who could represent him. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told reporters Monday that the teenagers may have participated in a TikTok contest that encourages people to hack into Kia cars using cellphone chargers. called the Kia challenge, first published this summer, shows how to wire up Kia and Hyundai vehicles using a USB cord and a screwdriver. Many police departments across the country have reported an increase in Kia and Hyundai thefts since the video was released. A class-action lawsuit filed in September in Orange County, Calif., alleges that Kias made between 2011 and 2021, as well as Hyundais made between 2015 and 2021, lack anti-theft parts called engine immobilizers that make the cars easier to steal than other models. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages from the automakers and a nationwide recall. Representatives for Kia and Hyundai did not respond to emails seeking comment.

A car crash that killed four teenagers may have been linked to a TikTok challenge, the police commissioner said.

A total of six teenagers were in a speeding Kia that crashed around 6:30 a.m. Monday, Buffalo police said. The car was stolen on Sunday evening.

All five passengers were ejected from the vehicle, police said. Four of them aged between 14 and 17 were killed. The fifth passenger was hospitalized in intensive care, and the 16-year-old driver was treated at the hospital and released.

The driver was charged Tuesday. It was unclear if he had an attorney who could represent him.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told reporters Monday that the teenagers may have participated in a TikTok contest that encourages people to hack into Kia cars using cellphone chargers.

The so-called Kia contest, first published this summer, shows how to wire up Kia and Hyundai cars using a USB cord and a screwdriver. Many police departments across the country have reported an increase in Kia and Hyundai thefts since the video was released.

The class-action lawsuit, filed in September in Orange County, California, alleges that Kias built between 2011 and 2021, as well as Hyundais built between 2015 and 2021, lack anti-theft parts called engine immobilizers that makes cars easier to steal than other models. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages from the automakers and a nationwide recall.

Representatives for Kia and Hyundai did not respond to emails seeking comment.

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