HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico County Police believe there may be a link between a viral social media trend and an increase in car thefts targeting specific vehicles.

Kia and Hyundai vehicles are most at-risk for thefts, and police said the thieves are targeting those manufactured between 2010 and 2021. The vehicles manufactured within the 11-year timeframe use a mechanical key.

In most cases, police said significant damage is done to the steering columns of the vehicles.

From Aug. 9 through Oct. 1, Henrico Police received 18 reports for vehicle thefts potentially tied to the social media trend. Of those, police said many of the thefts took place along Azalea Avenue, Crenshaw Road, in the Pony Farm Apartments, and Overlook at Brook Run Apartment communities.

Kia and Hyundai vehicles are most at-risk for thefts, and police said the thieves are targeting those manufactured between 2010 and 2021. The vehicles manufactured within the 11-year timeframe use a mechanical key. (Photo: The Henrico County Police Department)

Henrico Police is advising car owners to purchase a wheel lock to prevent someone from stealing their vehicle, contact their local Kia or Hyundai dealership to find out what options may be available for specific makes/models and park their car inside if they have a garage.

Anyone with information regarding any of these crimes is asked to call the Henrico County Police Department.