Pokemon fan artist Southpauz shares heartbreaking images of a Kia car theft, following a series of break-ins inspired by a viral TikTok trend.
Pokemon artist Southpauz is known for stunning Pokemon Gijinka art as well as general fanart for many western and Japanese animated TV shows. However, her normal feed of bright-colored character designs and gnashy teeth was disturbed by an emotional update about vehicle theft.
The update comes in light of a rising number of break-ins related to a car theft TikTok trend, in which Kia and Hyundai cars made between 2010-2021 can be rigged to run without a mechanical key. Unfortunately, the viral trend has been rampant since 2021 and has seen a sudden rise in recent months.
The TikTok trend isn’t the first negative thing to come from the social media app, with past trends including infamous and dangerous stunts like the Tide Pod challenge. However, the car theft trend is particularly nasty, as it often results in thousands of dollars in damage to the car owner.
Southpauz‘s documentation of the car theft began on September 11 with a post that reads, “my car got stolen”. She then posted updates, finally locating the vehicle at an impound, but shared the upsetting news that the car was visibly damaged.
BUT!!! Also my car was reported stolen and apparently is now located in an impound lot. It's windshield is broken and has further damage. It might be totaled idk but at least it was found. I'll find out more details later.— • 🐾 Southpauz 🐾 • (@SouthpauzArt) September 11, 2022
Unfortunately, the damage was much worse than the broken windshield. Upon arriving, Southpauz shared another tweet with pictures of extensive damage to the steering wheel. The entire car was trashed, with glass from the broken windshield littering the floorboards.
In addition to the damage and mess, the car thief left the screwdriver used to rig the vehicle in the cupholder, sparking outrage from Southpauz, who must now pay the impound fee and 500 dollar minimum for repairs before insurance.
The steep cost of the damages and fees came alongside frustrated and angry tweets as Southpauz realized the crime was part of a series of TikTok-inspired break-ins. In one post she comments “Oh my God there’s apparently a viral tiktok trend of people learning to bypass vehicle safety systems to steal specific types of cars…if y’all got a Kia car you better be careful”, warning others with similar cars to be careful.
Thankfully, Southpauz’s community of fans has stepped up to help with the unprecedented costs, and she now has emergency commissions open to help soften the blow. While the situation is stressful and unfortunate, it will hopefully help spread awareness about the car theft TikTok trend in her community and potentially prevent further break-ins and thefts to other Kia and Hyundai owners.