February 25, 2024

  • A North Carolina woman says her car was stolen because of the viral ‘Kia Challenge.’
  • Rachel Bestman, who shared her story on Tik Tok, said her car was taken on Monday.
  • Thieves have posted videos on how to steal Kia and Hyundai vehicles using a USB cable

For 24-year-old Rachel Bestman, her car was her new beginning.

Bestman, a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, recently bought a Hyundai Elantra, a car she said she loves. However, her world was turned upside down when she realized her vehicle was not in its usual spot on Monday.

Bestman was leaving her apartment complex to go to work around 10:30 p.m. when she noticed her car was missing.

“I was in denial for about three solid minutes,” Bestman told Insider, adding that she was in distress. “I walked through the parking lot saying, ‘It’s my fault. I misplaced my car.”

Bestman said a security guard who worked for the complex approached her and called a tow truck to help locate her car. She was told her car was towed after it was found at the exit of another apartment complex a few blocks from where she lives.

“The maintenance guy told the tow driver there were four males hanging out of my doors like it was a jungle gym and when the car approached they all ran away,” he said. “The ignition had disintegrated and the car had two flat tires.”

He later learned about the ‘Kia Challenge’, which has gone viral on social media, particularly Tik Tok.

Now she believes she is a victim of social media competition.

As Insider’s Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert previously reported, people are posting videos online showing video tutorials that share the steps on how to steal a car — specifically Kia and Hyundai — using just a USB charging cable after the ignition has been destroyed.

“The mentality of people taking even their hard-earned money and just throwing it in the trash is ridiculous,” Bestman said. “To find out it was over a trend. Honestly, it was the icing on the cake. It was a real downer for me.”

Local police recently warned residents about an increase in car thefts

Car thefts have increased in cities across the county, including Charlotte. In a tweet July 25, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department shared that “nearly 200 cars have been stolen in the past 2 weeks.”

According local news, the department’s data reveals that there has been a rise in Hyundai and Kia thefts. In addition, according to Fox 8 in North Carolina, law enforcement said all recent car theft incidents show ignition failure. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Kia and Hyundai responded to the incident in statements USA TODAYstressing their concern about recent thefts and added that their vehicles “meet or exceed” Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Bestman shared her story on TikTok to raise awareness

Earlier this week, Bestman shared her experience in an emotional TikTok video that has garnered over 11 million views.

“If I could prevent this from happening to anybody else, that’s the goal,” Bestman told Insider. “That was the whole point of the video and I feel really good that I did that or that the awareness is out there, really And people have been very supportive.”

Insider contacted Outlaw Towing on Saturday, and owner Shannon, who declined to give his last name, confirmed he towed her car, which had ignition damage and two flat tires.

Since Bestman shared her story on TikTok, Shannon said she’s been bombarded with calls, even though she doesn’t have any other cars with similar damage to Bestman’s on her tow truck.

“From [Bestman] I posted on TikTok, I keep getting calls from people all over the country and in Charlotte to see if I have a Hyundai or a Kia because they got stolen, and then people check me out for other cars as well,” Shannon told Insider. “I just direct them to call 311 because I don’t have their vehicles. It’s not like I’m towing every stolen car in Charlotte.”

Bestman said she is now stuck with several bills to repair the car and pay the towing company because of this incident, but she is grateful to those who have helped her during this time.

“I’ve received Cash Apps, which almost overwhelms me,” he said. “To feel the love and see the support from strangers who don’t owe me a favor and aren’t the ones who took my car… I’m truly grateful.”

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