SAPD: A dozen cars stolen from an apartment complex in one year

The latest victim believes the thefts may have stemmed from a viral TikTok challenge involving the “Kia Boys”.

SAN ANTONIO — Car thieves appear to be targeting an apartment complex in San Antonio, where 12 vehicles have been stolen in the past year.

A tenant’s security camera caught the criminals in the act.

As one victim told KENS 5, thieves work fast. She watched via surveillance video as they stole her car in less than five minutes.

“I didn’t think it would happen to me, but it did,” Tiffany Hodge said.

On Wednesday night, Hodge stepped out to her white 2021 Kia Soul to drive off to work, only to find her absent.

RELATED: TikTok trend to blame for surge in car thefts, Arlington police say

“At first I started to panic,” Hodge said.

She thought maybe she had forgotten where she had parked. She quickly understood the reality: someone stole her car.

“I go into ‘fix it’ mode and I start calling my boyfriend, I called the cops and called my insurance,” Hodge said.

She lives at the Aspire Roxbury Apartments, off the 410 loop between Ingram and Culebra. It’s a gated community, and Hodge has been there since June.

“I don’t know if they took him for a ride or if they took him to a chop shop,” she wondered.

On Thursday, a neighbor shared surveillance footage with Hodge showing the criminals fleeing in his car. It only took them a few minutes to break in and leave.

“[In the video] we see two guys breaking the window,” Hodge explained. “One jumps out the rear passenger window and the other keeps one eye open.”

The thieves can also be seen deactivating the car’s horn. When they burst in, the lights started flashing, but there was no audible alarm.

RELATED: Car Thieves Exploit Hack That Makes Hyundai, Kia Cars Vulnerable

Another video shared with KENS 5 shows criminals stealing another neighbor’s Kia on August 28.

Hodge fears this is all part of a social media trend.

“Right after finding out our neighbor’s car had been stolen, I looked to see what was going on. They call themselves the ‘Kia Boys.’ It’s a TikTok challenge and they’re using a USB cable to steal the Kias,” Hodge explained.

San Antonio police, however, say their Vehicle Crime Unit saw no connection to the TikTok trend in any of their cases.

They encourage everyone to keep their car locked, never leave keys or valuables inside, and park in well-lit areas.

Hodge picked up his rental car on Friday. She says her insurance is waiting 10 days to see if her car shows up. If not, she says, insurance will take the next step of buying her a new vehicle.

In the meantime, Hodge hopes his bumper stickers will make it easier to find his stolen car. On the back of her car she has stickers for UTSA College of Business, “Hocus Pocus”, a roller skate with a heart, Beetlejuice and Jar Jar Binks from “Star Wars”.

RELATED: SAPD data reveals how widespread car burglaries are in popular SA location

SAPD officials say that of all the cars stolen in San Antonio, Kias were among the 10 most attractive vehicles to criminals. Here is the complete list of the most frequently stolen cars in San Antonio, between January and July 2022:

  1. Ford F-Series Pickup Truck
  2. Chevy Pickup Truck
  3. Dodge Ram Pickup
  4. Chevrolet Suburban/Tahoe
  5. GMC pickup
  6. Ford E-Series Van
  7. Hyundai Elantra
  8. Jeep
  9. Kia Optima
  10. Toyota Corolla

KENS 5 called the Aspire Roxbury Apartments office on Friday to inquire about any additional security measures they might take in light of the car thefts. Because we called after 5pm, the office staff told us that the manager had already left for the day.

We’ll share any updates to this story once we know more.