The La Salle Police Department received multiple reports of vehicles being burglarized, stolen or attempted to be stolen in the past week.
Several different makes and models of vehicles, especially Kia models, have been broken into, police said.
The suspects have entered unlocked vehicles and also forced entry into locked vehicles.
The La Salle Police Department Detective Division is investigating the incidents, and patrols have been increased in an effort to thwart any further incidents.
The La Salle Police Department is asking all residents to make sure their vehicles are secured. The police department is asking Kia owners, if possible, to park their vehicles in a secure garage or in such a manner as to prevent them from being easily driven away from where they are parked. For example, police suggest blocking them with another vehicle or a fixed object.
If you have any information or video surveillance footage in regard to the incidents, contact the police department at 815-223-2131 or via the La Salle Police Department’s Facebook page. All information can be submitted confidentially, and a monetary reward could be offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) of this investigation.
Why are Kias a target of theft?
Hyundai and Kia vehicles made between 2011 and 2022, especially the more basic models, were manufactured without an immobilizer, according to a May NPR article. An immobilizer in most modern cars prevents a vehicle from starting unless it detects a key. Without them, the vehicles are easier targets for theft, NPR reported. Hyundai and Kia created software upgrades available to some drivers. This update programs the car so when it’s locked, it won’t start unless it detects the key fob.
Can I see if my Hyundai or Kia needs an update?
For those who drive a Hyundai vehicle, there is a website that allows motorists to enter their VIN number to see if their car is eligible for an upgrade on their network. Go to https://www.hyundaiantitheft.com/#eligibility to check your VIN number.
KIA also has a portal where people can put in a VIN number to check if they’re eligible for a software upgrade. Go to https://ksupport.kiausa.com/ConsumerAffairs/SWLD to check your VIN number or call 1-800-333-4542 (4Kia).