HILLIARD, Ohio (WCMH) — Ever since certain car models started increasing, Kia owner and Hilliard resident Sharon Harrison has been worried.
A family member and another person she knows had their Kias stolen. She does not want to be next.
“I don’t want my car stolen, so we need to do something — so this is what I can do,” she said, holding a steering wheel lock given to her by the Hilliard Division of Police.
Hilliard police are offering the steering wheel locks as a program with Kia, with Dublin police recently handing out all the locks they had on hand. Law enforcement agencies can reach out to the company for the locks, according to a Kia spokesperson. Sgt. Kris Settles with Hilliard police said the hope is that the locks deter would-be vehicle thieves.
“If these folks are out here stealing vehicles in our city and they see this bright yellow device applied on the steering wheel, we hope they see that and they move on,” Settles said.
In order to receive a steering wheel lock from Hilliard police, you must be a Hilliard or Norwich Township resident with a Kia made between 2011 and 2021 that uses a key to start. Kia drivers must bring the car with proof of registration to get the lock. Information on how to schedule an appointment to get one can be found here.
In 2022, there were 11 Kias stolen in the city of Hilliard, according to Hilliard police records. Five have been stolen this year.
“I’m not wanting this to happen to my car,” Harrison said. “I’m retired, I can’t get another car. So I feel a little safer with this.”
Columbus police has not contacted Kia about its steering wheel lock program, a spokesperson said. The spokesperson said community liaison officers have handed out locks that community groups have purchased.