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Friday, June 21, 2024
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University Police warn Kia, Hyundai owners after string of on-campus break-in attempts

All three alleged break-ins occurred on South Campus

Hyundai and Kia owners on campus are being advised to take extra security precautions when locking their vehicles.
Hyundai and Kia owners on campus are being advised to take extra security precautions when locking their vehicles.

University Police (UPD) are asking owners of Kia and Hyundai vehicles to “consider utilizing a steering wheel locking device” and “be vigilant at all times” after three vehicles were damaged in possible theft attempts on South Campus earlier this month, according to a UB Alert email.

“Initial evidence from our investigation indicates the individuals involved in the recent vehicle break-ins are not associated with the university,” Scott Marciszewski, deputy chief of patrol operations for UPD, said in an email to The Spectrum.

The cars targeted were various models of Hyundais and Kias, all built between 2011 and 2021.

UPD says the increase in car crimes in Amherst and University Heights areas over the past few years has been fueled by a now well-known TikTok challenge. 

Currently, no images of the suspect(s) are available to the public due to the ongoing investigation and no people were harmed during the break-ins.

Marciszewski confirms that there is an increase in patrols on and around UB South Campus. No reports of break-ins have been reported from UB North Campus.

“UB’s campuses are very safe, with low incidence of crime,” Marciszewski said. “While the vehicle break-ins can be unsettling, we have no evidence that personal safety is at risk.”

Police are recommending that drivers always turn off the ignition and remove their keys, park in high-traffic areas, and remove valuables from vehicles.

UPD was offering free steering wheel locks to students, staff and employees, but ran out Wednesday morning. Police are looking into acquiring more for free distribution to the UB community.

The UB Police encourage everyone to continue to report any unusual circumstances or suspicious persons and activities to (716) 645-2222.

The news desk can be reached at news@ubspectrum.com

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