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

Authorities are warning owners of Kia and Hyundai vehicles manufactured between 2010 and 2021 that their cars may be at risk of being stolen.

From Aug. 9 through Oct. 1, Henrico Police reportedly received 18 reports for vehicle thefts potentially tied to the social media trend. TikTok videos reviewed by 8News showed people stealing cars by simply inserting a USB cable into the vehicle’s steering column.

“That’s pretty sneaky,” said Henrico resident Mariah Shibley after watching one of the viral videos. “I’m glad I don’t have that kind of car.”

Kias and Hyundais are most at-risk because they use a mechanical key that is physically inserted into the steering column. The same place where a USB cable would be inserted. Police say the manual key also makes it easier to pick the lock to get in.

“They’re trying to make them so convenient and now it’s a huge inconvenience to security,” Shibley said. “It makes me realize that maybe getting a new car might be scary and I might want to see all of the features it has. Because if I know people can break into so easily and take it, that’s not really a good sign.”

Henrico Police encourages car owners to buy wheel locks for steering wheels. Owners of Kia or Hyundai vehicles can also reach out to their dealerships to see what other security options are available.

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