The Erie County Sheriff’s Office exhausted its supply of Kia security locks in half an hour on Saturday morning during a giveaway that was expected to last four hours.
The 16-year-old accused of driving the stolen Kia that crashed on Highway 33 last month was “v…
The devices, distributed at the County Highway Garage on Harlem Road in Cheektowaga, were made available to immobilize the steering wheel of Kia vehicles manufactured from 2011 to 2021, which have been stolen around the world because their starter ignitions are so easy to fiddle with. .
Kia made 100 devices each available to the Sheriff’s Office and the Amherst Police Department after four Buffalo teenagers were killed Oct. 24 on the Kensington Freeway in a stolen Kia Sportage.
The 16-year-old driver survived. He was arraigned in Erie County Court on Tuesday for multiple felonies including manslaughter, assault and felony possession of stolen property. He was driving at high speed when he lost control of the Kia at the Entrance to the Scajaquada Freeway, prosecutors said.
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The Buffalo News is not naming the driver because of his age.
Amherst police offered the locking devices to Kia owners Nov. 10 on a first-come, first-served basis. They disappeared within a day, according to the department’s Facebook page.
The South Korean car giant – which sells 3 million cars a year – says it sees the wave of crimes against its vehicles across the country not as a fault with its cars, but as a “local crime problem”. boosted by social media.
A Kia spokesperson told The Buffalo News earlier this month that the company plans to distribute the devices through police departments, instead of requiring customers to visit their dealerships, as this is usually the case for car repairs or recalls.
There was no word on Saturday if and when more devices will be made available in the region.
The mothers of two of the passengers killed in the Buffalo crash have filed a lawsuit in federal court against Kia America, accusing the automaker of failing to stop the theft of the vehicles, despite a national social media trend that has led to thousands of Kias being stolen nationwide.
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