CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) — Police in Central Falls are offering steering wheel locks to Hyundai and Kia owners in an attempt to curb car thefts in the city.
In order to receive a free steering wheel lock, police said the vehicle must belong to someone who lives, works or attends school in Central Falls.
On top of that, police said the steering wheel locks will only be given to those with eligible Hyundai or Kia models.
Police said in order for a vehicle to be eligible, it must start up using a traditional key rather than a push-button ignition.
The steering wheel locks will be handed out on a first come, first serve basis. Those interested must bring their license and vehicle registration with them to the police department, as well as a valid work or school ID if applicable.
Steering wheel locks are described as long metal bars designed to immobilize the wheel and prevent the car from being driven properly. The vast majority of steering wheel locks come with a key and can’t be easily removed without it.
There’s been a significant increase in car thefts nationwide connected to a social media trend targeting older Hyundai and Kia models. The thieves typically remove the trim under the steering wheel column and start the engine using a USB charging cable.
Police are urging Hyundai and Kia owners to not only consider a steering wheel lock, but also to take extra precautions to secure their vehicles, such as parking in well-lit areas, locking the doors and removing all valuables.
Anyone with questions on how to receive a free steering wheel lock can contact Captain John Carroll at (401) 727-7411 ext. 2505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.