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Police: 40% of recent car thefts in St. Pete have been Kia, Hyundai models

Since July 11, 56 cars have been stolen, the St. Petersburg Police Department says.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Detectives in St. Petersburg are investigating numerous car theft cases that just spiked in the month of July.

The police department says since July 11, 56 cars have been stolen in their jurisdiction. Of those cars, 23 of them have been KIA and Hyundai models — about 41% of the stolen cars.

Based on the investigation, detectives believe the car thieves "are using a technique to break into the steering column to start the vehicles and steal them."

Police say they are targeting Kia and Hyundai models 2021 and older that use an inserted key.

"We strongly urge anyone with a KIA or Hyundai that uses a key, to **please** lock your car doors to deter thieves!" St. Petersburg Police Department said in a Facebook post.

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