May 23, 2023 

Social Media “Challenge” Leads to Spike in Vehicle Incidents 

ATLANTA _ The MARTA Police Department (MPD) is partnering with car manufacturers Kia and Hyundai to provide steering wheel locks to car owners after an increase in incidents involving these vehicles while parked at rail stations. Police nationwide noticed a spike in thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles after a post on social media showed how to start these cars without a key. The car manufacturers will provide 640 steering wheel locks, at no cost to MARTA, to help deter and prevent these thefts.

“MARTA has experienced a significant decrease in crime over the past few years, so when we saw an increase in theft and vandalism of Kia and Hyundai vehicles, we worked to determine the cause and quickly implement this deterrent,” said MARTA Deputy Police Chief Willie Davenport. 

MPD officers will distribute the steering wheel locks to MARTA patrons who own a Kia or Hyundai model year 2011 - 2022, this Thursday, May 25 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at College Park Station, located at 3800 Main St., in the east parking lot near the faregates. Please bring proof of vehicle ownership.

MPD reports 17 incidents involving Kia and Hyundai vehicles since the beginning of the year, two occurring this past weekend. Other metro Atlanta law enforcement agencies are also reporting an increase in thefts of Kia and Hyundai cars and have launched similar steering wheel lock giveaways. 

Kia and Hyundai car owners who regularly park at any MARTA rail station can also expect a flyer on their windshield in the coming days with information on how to claim a wheel lock. 

WHAT:           MPD Kia and Hyundai steering wheel lock distribution

                      Model years 2011-2022

                      Please bring proof of vehicle ownership


WHEN:          Thursday, May 25

                     4 p.m. – 6 p.m.


WHERE:        College Park Station

                     3800 Main St.

                     College Park, Ga. 30337

                     East parking lot near faregates

Distribution of the wheel locks is part of MPD’s commitment to reducing crime on the transit system. In the past two years, MARTA has seen a 17 percent reduction in Part 1 crimes (violent and property crimes), specifically a 32 percent reduction in robberies. Additionally, MPD boasts an 87 percent clearance rate for robberies, meaning a criminal was arrested, charged, or turned over to the court system for prosecution. 

MPD also recently achieved state law enforcement certification, a complex process established to ensure agencies are held to the highest standards of safety and was awarded the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Gold Standard Award for its security program.




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