SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Scranton Police Department announced Monday that they will be taking action and trying to prevent the “Kia Challenge.”

According to Scranton Police, the city has seen an increase in Kia and Hyundai vehicle thefts made between 2010 and 2021.

Police say the thefts are part of a national problem commonly referred to as the “Kia Challenge,” where people, break into a vehicle, hotwire it, drive it, and then abandon the vehicle randomly.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the challenge is in response to a social media trend that spread nationwide resulting in 14 crashes and eight deaths.

Officers say they are urging those who own these brands of vehicles to contact the manufacturer of the vehicle to have the free anti-theft technology installed.

According to law enforcement, owners who have not yet been able to get an appointment can obtain a free steering wheel lock at Scranton Police Headquarters at 100 S. Washington Avenue in Scranton, once the locks arrive.

Police have not yet provided the date the locks will be arriving, but did say they will be here in the near future.

Scranton Police remind all Kia and Hyundai owners to lock their vehicles and to keep watch on their Facebook page for more information.