Local News

TikTok Trend Leads to Grand Theft Auto in Howard County

By: Jacinda McNeal Fordjour

Howard County has recently been struck with a recent TikTok trend of young teens stealing and driving cars, specifically Kias and Hyundais.

Videos of Kias and Hyundai that use a key ignition being hotwired quickly spread as more and more videos of young teens driving around in the stolen cars were uploaded onto the app TikTok. Mt. Hebron junior Anya Prasad, who owns a Hyundai car, says learning about the trend does make her nervous about leaving her car here at school.

“I can’t have 100 percent [that] there’s someone supervising it. Anything can happen,” Prasad states.

Although Mt. Hebron has had a past with following these TikTok trends, as seen with the “devious licks” challenge last year, Prasad says she hopes this trend does not take off at Mt. Hebron.

“It’s a possibility, but I hope it doesn’t affect me…I don’t think people will go out of their way to steal cars, but you can’t predict that,” Prasad states.

Mt. Hebron senior, Emma Miller, another student driver states, “I feel like if it were to happen, it would’ve already.”

As the panic in Howard County increases, the Howard County Police department has put out a statement on their official Twitter page that they have noticed an increase in thefts and are investigating this problem.

“#HoCoPolice are actively investigating these thefts and believe a majority are committed by a small number of people, mostly juveniles and young adults,” states the Twitter post.

Even with the support of the Police department, this does not ease many worries or questions, Prasad says that she does not think it will stop many kids, especially the determined ones.

“Even if the police said something, kids wouldn’t stop if they wanted to,” Parsad states. “If they were to put out statements, it would stop kids who were really scared of it, but people who don’t care could still do it.”

The Howard County Police Department (HCPD) has been giving out tips to reduce the chance of theft.

“Preventative measures include purchasing a steering wheel lock or club; purchasing a security kit recently released by Hyundai; and practicing standard vehicle theft safety measures such as parking in a secured lot or personal garage if you have one.” States the HCPD.

HCPD asks if you have any more information on these thefts, to please contact police at 410-313-STOP.

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