NEW BEDFORD – Two teens were taken into custody after fleeing police in a stolen vehicle, crashing, and then attempting to escape on foot.
On Tuesday, August 15th, at around 6 PM, Ofc. William Mouyos was on patrol in the north-end sector when he observed a Kia Optima traveling erratically. He activated his lights and siren in an attempt to stop the vehicle.
Upon doing so, it fled from him at a high rate of speed, disregarding numerous traffic controls in the process. Ultimately, the vehicle came to a stop as it collided with another and then struck a tree near the Weld St./Mt. Pleasant St. intersection.
Two juveniles, a 17-year-old female operator, and a 16-year-old male passenger, both exited the car and began to flee on foot. The female was apprehended in front of ‘Fire Station 7’ at the Mt. Pleasant St./Durfee St. intersection. Ofc. Wiliam Solomon had joined in with the chase and was able to apprehend the male passenger. Both parties were placed under arrest and taken into custody.
Upon further investigation, the vehicle was found to have been reported stolen earlier that day. The ignition was broken and there was a USB cable sticking out of it. Recently, a disproportionate number of Kia/Hyundai vehicles have either been stolen or have been the victims of theft attempts. These vehicles have become attractive targets for thieves ever since a hack video was shared on social media.
In this “Tik Tok” video, which came to be known as the “Kia Challenge” and has since been taken down, instructions are provided on how to defeat the anti-theft system.
The male juvenile was previously charged for attempting to break into a “Kia” last month. He was also charged in both June and January of this year for receiving stolen vehicles, one of which was also a “Kia”. Prior to Tuesday’s arrest, the male had 8 open cases in New Bedford Juvenile Court.
If you have any information regarding criminal activity, we would like to hear from you. You can remain anonymous by calling 508-99-CRIME, or leaving a tip at the following link.