VINITA PARK, Mo. — Residents who live in several north St. Louis County municipalities and drive a Hyundai or Kia with a traditional key ignition can register to receive a free steering lock.
The North County Police Cooperative is giving out the Club on Friday, Sept. 9 from 3–6 p.m. at James McGee Park, near Vinita Park City Hall in the 8300 block of Midland Blvd.
In addition to Vinita Park, residents of Beverly Hills, Dellwood, Hanley Hills, Pine Lawn, Uplands Park, Velda Village Hills and Wellston are eligible for a lock.
Residents who fill out a brief survey prior to September 9 are guaranteed to receive a steering lock, although the department added the 200 locks are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The vehicle or registration for an affected vehicle must also be presented at the time the lock is pickup.
Visit the North County Police Cooperative Facebook page or call 314-574-4041 for more information.
Thefts of certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles have increased substantially this year in the St. Louis area and nationwide.
Once would-be thieves rip the steering column off a vehicle, they simply use the end of a USB cable to start the engine. The cable serves the same purpose as a flathead screwdriver did in the late-1900s.
To make matters worse, the back windows on some Hyundai and Kia vehicles aren't connected to the security system, which means thieves can break the windows without causing an alarm to go off.
In St. Louis, home to the area's largest police department, nearly 2,000 Hyundai and Kia vehicles have been stolen through the end of August compared to fewer than 200 in the same period last year.