ODU Police to Distribute Free Wheel Locks to Student Owners of Kias and Hyundais



An Old Dominion University Police vehicle. Photo by Nicholas Clark

By Kat Monnin, Copy Editor

NORFOLK, Va. – 2010-2021 Kia and Hyundai models have been targeted in recent crimes near ODU and throughout the country ever since a viral TikTok challenge revealed how flaws in their ignition systems allow them to be hot wired with a USB cord. 

During the fall 2022 semester, ODU’s crime log reported over 50 crimes related to motor vehicles.

As part of efforts by the ODU Police Department to combat the rise in vehicle-related theft, larceny, and tampering, they are distributing free wheel locks to student owners of Kias and Hyundais. 

The wheel locks will be distributed at ODU Police headquarters, 4516 Monarch Way, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., while supplies last. ODU student identification and vehicle registration must be presented. Only owners of Kias and Hyundais are eligible to receive a free wheel lock.

As of Jan. 12, the ODU Police Department confirmed that wheel locks are still available. 

Previous reporting found that in the period from Sept. 14 to Nov. 13, 2022, ODU’s crime log reported six vehicle thefts, 18 counts of larceny pertaining to a motor vehicle (theft of either motor vehicle parts or accessories), and six counts of tampering with a vehicle. 

Since that report, ODU’s crime log has recorded two vehicle thefts, 10 counts of larceny pertaining to a motor vehicle, and 14 counts of tampering with a vehicle during the period from Nov. 14, 2022 to Jan. 11, 2023. 

The ODU Police Department website provides the following tips for preventing car theft:

  • Lock all doors and close all windows upon exiting your vehicle.
  • Make sure there are no visible valuables when leaving your vehicle.
  • Be sure to place items in your trunk or carry them on your person.
  • Always park in well-lit areas.
  • Lastly, never leave your vehicle running, even if it’s only for a moment.