February 15, 2023 – The Oak Park Police Department is hosting a steering wheel lock giveaway for Oak Park residents who own select Hyundai or Kia vehicles.
Pre-registration is required as supplies are limited. Residents are asked to email Community Policing Sergeant Robert Monty at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a steering wheel lock device at no cost if they own a Hyundai model manufactured between 2016 to 2021 or a Kia model manufactured from 2011 to 2021.
The steering wheel locks will be available for pickup from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25 in the police station lobby in the lower level of Village Hall, 123 Madison St.
The Police Department is offering the giveaway in response to a sharp increase in vehicle thefts involving Hyundai and Kia models.
In 2022 there were 266 vehicle thefts in Oak Park, up from 71 the year before. The uptick mirrors regional and nationwide trends where Hyundai and Kia vehicles are targeted because they use a mechanical key to start rather than a key fob and push-button.
Law enforcement officials recommend Hyundai and Kia owners take extra security measures such as a steering wheel lock device or engine immobilizer. Hyundai and Kia owners can also contact the manufacturer to learn about additional safeguards such as a recent software update for some of the targeted models.
Police officials additionally recommend parking in a well-lit area if possible, and residents who park in a personal garage are urged to keep the overhead door closed and to lock any service doors.
Lastly, officials ask members of the community to call 911 if they see anyone attempting to break into a car or trying door handles.
For more information about the Oak Park Police Department, visit www.oak-park.us/police, call 708.386.3800 or email email@example.com.