- A North Carolina woman says that her car was stolen due to the viral ‘Kia Challenge.’
- Rachel Bestman, who shared her story on Tik Tok, said that her car was taken on Monday.
- Theives have been posting videos on how to steal Kia and Hyundai vehicles by using a USB cord
For 24-year-old Rachel Bestman, her car was her new beginning.
Bestman, a Charlotte, North Carolina resident, recently purchased a Hyundai Elantra, a car she said she loved. However, her world turned upside down when she realized that her vehicle was not in its usual spot on Monday.
Bestman was leaving her apartment complex to head to work at around 10:30 p.m when she noticed that 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 like, ‘It’s my fault. I misplaced my car.”
Bestman said a security guard who worked for the complex approached her and called the tow yard to help locate her car. She was informed that 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 that there were four males hanging from my doors like it was a jungle gym, and when he approached the car, they all fled,” she said. “The ignition had been taken apart, and the car had two busted tires.”
She later learned of the “Kia Challenge,” which has been going viral on social media, particularly on Tik Tok.
She now believes she is a victim of a social media competition.
As Insider’s Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert previously reported, people are posting videos online showing instructional videos that share the steps of how to steal a car — particularly Kia and Hyundai— by using only a USB charging cord after damaging the ignition.
“The mentality of people to even take someone’s hard-earned money and just trash it is ridiculous,” Bestman said. “To find out it was over a trend. Honestly, it put the icing on the cake. It was a real downer for me.”
Local police recently warned residents about the rise in car thefts
Auto thefts have increased in cities across the county, including in Charlotte. In a July 25 tweet, the Charlotte- Mecklenburg Police department shared that “almost 200 cars have been stolen within the last 2 weeks.”
—CMPD News (@CMPD) July 25, 2022
According to local news, the department data reveals that there was an uptick in Hyundai and Kia thefts. Additionally, according to Fox 8 in North Carolina, law enforcement said that all of the recent car theft incidents show damage to the ignition. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Kia and Hyundai responded to the incident in statements to USA TODAY, emphasizing their concern about the recent thefts, and added that their vehicles “meet or exceed” the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Bestman shared her story on TikTok to raise awareness
Earlier this week, Bestman shared her experience in an emotional video on TikTok 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 goal of the video, and I feel really good that I did that or that the awareness is out there, I really do. And people have been very supportive.”
Insider reached out to Outlaw Towing on Saturday and the owner Shannon, who declined to give his last name, confirmed he towed her car, which had damage to the ignition and two flat tires.
Since Bestman shared her story on TikTok, Shannon said that he has been bombarded with calls, although he does not have other cars with similar damage as Bestman in his tow yard.
“Since [Bestman] posted the TikTok, I keep getting calls from people all over the country and in Charlotte checking to see if I have any Hyundai or Kia because theirs were stolen, and then people are checking with me about 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 tow every stolen car in Charlotte.”
Bestman said that she’s now stuck with multiple bills to repair the car and pay the tow company due to this incident but is grateful to those who have been helping her during this time.
“I’ve been receiving Cash Apps, which almost overwhelms me,” she said. “To feel the love and see the support from strangers who don’t owe me kindness, and they’re not the ones that took my car … I’m truly just grateful.”