February 7, 2023

  • A North Carolina woman said her car was stolen due to a viral “Kia Challenge.”
  • Rachel Bestman, who shared her story on Tik Tok, said her car was hijacked on Monday.
  • Theives posts videos on how to steal Kia and Hyundai cars using a USB cord

For 24-year-old Rachel Bestman, her car was her fresh start.

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

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

“I was in denial for three strong minutes,” Bestman told Insider, adding that she was in distress. “I walked into the parking lot like, ‘This is my fault. I lost my car. “

Bestman said one of the security guards who worked at the compound approached her and called the tow yard to help locate her car. She learned that her car had been towed after it was found at the exit of another apartment complex a few blocks from her place of residence.

“The maintenance worker told the tow driver that there were four men hanging from my doors like it was a gym in the woods, and when he approached the car, they all fled,” she said. “The ignition is broken, the tires are out.”

I later learned of the “Kia Challenge”, which went viral on social media, especially on Tik Tok.

She now thinks she is the victim of a social media contest.

As Insider’s Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert previously reported, people are posting videos online showing how-to videos that share the steps of how to steal a car—particularly a Kia and Hyundai—using only a USB charging cord after the ignition has been damaged.

“The mentality of people to even take someone’s hard-earned money and trash is absurd,” Bestman said. “To find out that it was more of a trend. Honestly, he put the icing on the cake. That was a real touchdown for me.”

Local police recently warned residents of a rise in car thefts

Car thefts increased in cities across the county, including Charlotte. in Tweet July 25, The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department reported that “nearly 200 vehicles have been stolen in the past two weeks”.

according to local news, the department’s data reveals that there has been a slight rise in thefts from Hyundai and Kia. Additionally, according to North Carolina’s Fox 8, law enforcement said all recent car thefts show ignition damage. Charlotte Mecklenburg Police did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Kia and Hyundai responded to the accident in statements to USA TodayEmphasizing their concern over recent thefts and adding that their vehicles “meet or exceed” federal 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 more than 11 million views.

Bestman told Insider, “If I can prevent this from happening to anyone else, that’s the point. That was the whole point of the video, and I feel really good that I did it or the awareness is there, do it. And the people were very supportive.”

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

Since Bestman shared her story on TikTok, Shannon said he’s been bombarded with calls, even though he doesn’t have other cars with damage similar to Bestman in his towing yard.

“Where [Bestman] Posted by TikTok, I constantly get calls from people across the country and in Charlotte I check to see if I have any Hyundai or Kia because their car was stolen, and then people check me out for other cars too,” Shannon told Insider. To call 311 because I don’t own their cars. It’s not like I’m pulling every stolen car in Charlotte.”

Bestman said she is now stuck with multiple bills to repair the car and pay the towing company for this accident but is grateful to those who helped her during this time.

“I got Cash Apps, which almost confuses me,” she said. “To feel the love and see the support from strangers who don’t owe me kindness, and they aren’t the ones who took my car… I’m really grateful.”

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