COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A Columbus police officer is in the hospital after two suspects driving a stolen Kia crashed into a police cruiser.
Officers spotted the two juvenile suspects in a stolen Kia Sportage on Tuesday at Walford Street and Elmore Avenue in North Linden after an alleged armed robbery, according to Franklin County Chief Jim Gilbert. An officer was transported to a local hospital after the pair ran into a Columbus Division of Police cruiser with a sergeant confirming to NBC4 the officer is in stable condition.
The incident marks the second crash involving a police cruiser this week after a Columbus officer hit a woman on Monday while responding to a call of an armed robbery.
Tuesday’s crash also followed a surge in Kia and Hyundai thefts throughout the past year. Columbus has seen a 450% increase in thefts of the two brands’ cars since the start of 2022, and Kia and Hyundai models accounted for two-thirds of all of the thefts attempted. The method used to steal them was popularized on Tiktok and other social media, and the city attorney said young teens were behind many of them.
The car manufacturers have rolled out anti-theft software to combat security flaws. The updates disable a car’s ignition systems when not in use to protect against thieves. However, the patches weren’t enough to stop Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein from filing a lawsuit against the two brands.