KIA Boys Crisis: How a local dealership is trying to reduce car thefts


BAKERSFIELD, CA-- Hyundai and Kia branded cars have been stolen this year at alarming rates. 

It was a casual weekend for Jessica Hermann. She went to a movie at the Maya Cinemas on Saturday night, then came out to her car: missing. She called the police but had no success.

Her last hope was the Kern County Scanner group on Facebook. 

“I posted my vehicle, the license plate number, and I just kept posting it and kept posting it. Finally somebody messaged me and said, 'Hey, your car's in front of my house'-- and he sent me a picture. It was my car!" Hermann said.

When she got it back, she had busted windows and the words "KIA BOYS" carved into the car ceiling.

However, the valuables in the car weren’t stolen. 

“We work hard for the things that we have and for a just to be stolen by little kids who are terrorizing this community. It's just out of control.”

Jessica’s story is just one of many for Kia and Hyundai owners in Kern County, as the "Kia Boys" crisis is happening daily here in Kern County.

Hyundai owners will hopefully see some relief from a software update event this Sunday.

Some owners have been waking up to finding their vehicles being gone at alarming rates. Bakersfield Hyundai dealership is stepping up to install proper anti-theft software. 

In fact, they’re turning it into a street party.

“This is going to help put a patch on that little bypass that they're able to do. And so whenever they break into the car, if they ever do break into the car and they do the hack, they cannot take the car anymore after the update is done,” according to Sandro Davalos, a Hyundai car parts expert.

It hasn’t been determined yet if Kia will hold a similar event in Bakersfield, but experts say it’s important to check if your make and model has been recalled so that it won’t be susceptible to theft. 

The Hyundai Owner Anti-Theft security update event will be happening Sunday Nov. 12 from 9 to 3 p.m. 


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