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Video from traffic cameras on a Minnesota highway shows a group of teenagers crash a stolen Kia and take off running.
It happened Saturday on Interstate 35E northbound, according to Fox 9. Footage shows a stolen Kia smash into a median after the driver attempted to avoid police stop sticks. Four teens then jump out of the smoking car, run and dodge traffic to get to the other side of the road where state troopers were waiting. All four were arrested: a 14-year-old boy and three girls ages 15-17.
Two of the girls had minor injuries and were taken to the hospital, authorities said.
The incident began around 5:30 p.m. when a rental car company contacted St. Paul Police saying they had a GPS tracker on a 2021 Kia Forte that had been stolen in Minneapolis and was headed to St. Paul, a police spokesman said.
"St. Paul Police requested assistance from a State Patrol helicopter, and the pilot used the coordinates from the GPS tracker to locate the car as it came to a stop on Portland and Dale streets in St. Paul," Fox 9 reports.
The teens got back in the car as police squad cars approached. Officers stood back as the car traveled through a residential neighborhood, but the helicopter continued to track the Kia as the driver drove erratically down city streets and onto the highway, the police spokesman said.
The crash occurred roughly 15 minutes after the incident first began.
Law enforcement in the area have expressed concern about a nationwide trend this summer involving Hyundai and Kia thefts. A viral Tiktok video from the so-called "Kia Boys" shows thieves how to use a USB cable to steal rides.
The automaker is so familiar with the rash of thefts it has issued the following statement to media outlets, including Fox 29 Philadelphia.
"Kia America is aware of the rise in vehicle thefts of a subset of trim levels," the statement read. "All 2022 models and trims have an immobilizer applied either at the beginning of the year or as a running change. All Kia vehicles for sale in the U.S. meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Kia customers with questions regarding their Kia vehicle should contact the Consumer Assistance center directly at 1-800-333-4542.
"Hyundai Motor America is concerned with the rise in local auto thefts. The safety and well-being of our customers and the community is and will remain our top priority. These vehicles meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and engine immobilizers are standard equipment on all new Hyundai vehicles. Hyundai customers who have questions can always contact the Hyundai Consumer Assistance Center at 800-633-5151."