NYC Mayor Eric Adams Blames Tik Tok For 32% Surge In Car Thefts
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has finally figured out the hive mind of a rash of car thefts in New York City: Tik Tok.
The mayor has taken to blaming the social media platform this week for a growing number of grand theft autos that are taking place under his watch in New York City. He says he wants to “hold the platform accountable”, according to a new Bloomberg report.
Joined by New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, Adams has said the “Kia Challenge”, a Tik Tok-based viral video showing how to steal Kia and Hyundai cars, is to blame for about 109 arrests made this year related to theft of Kia and Hyundai sedans.
🚨Attention owners of Kia & Hyundai vehicles🚨 Criminals are using a vulnerability to bypass some car ignitions using a USB cable. While both manufacturers have said they are looking into fixing the issue, utilizing a steering wheel locking device is highly recommended. pic.twitter.com/DBziQQXN2C
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 30, 2022
At a press conference Thursday, Adams said: “This really emphasizes my continuous call for the responsible behavior of social media. This challenge in particular with Kia and Hyundai, we see it as not only stealing a vehicle, but it’s stealing the future of our young people.”
Car theft spiked during the pandemic and hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels, the report says. Grand larceny of vehicles in New York was up a stunning 32% last year, more than any other felony. According to Sewell, most thefts are taking place in the Bronx and northern Manhattan.
The videos that Adams references targets Hyundais and Kias that lack an engine immobilizer, Bloomberg reports. They have made their way around social media since last September, targeting vehicles made in the 2015-2019 year range.
When asked about his opinion about a ban on Tik Tok due to national security concerns, however, Adams responded: “I think that it’s imperative for Congress and the federal lawmakers to do a deep dive and come up with the right way to monitor social media.”
He concluded: “As we continue to decrease crime and move crime in the right direction, we don’t need aggravating factors such as what we’re seeing in a social media challenge of this magnitude. We don’t need social media to contribute to social disorder.”
Every day, the NYPD works to make our city safer and keep driving major crimes down in New York City. But we’re continuing to see problems with grand theft auto. Join us now at 1 Police Plaza.
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) March 30, 2023