Car thieves contribute to local auto parts shortage – Yahoo News

July 30, 2022 by No Comments

Thefts of two particular car brands are on the rise in Memphis. Kia models newer than 2011 and Hyundai cars newer than 2015 are the primary targets.

Experts say they are the easiest cars to steal, and FOX13 learned this crime has led to shortages of car parts in our area.

READ MORE: Thieves target Kia and Hyundai models that are easier to steal, MPD says

“We’re looking at right now, not even including the body damage,  $5,000 in repairs,” said Alena Clark, whose Kia Forte was stolen from her apartment complex in Cordova last month.

When it was recovered, the thieves had pulled off her steering column, urinated in her back seat, shredded her tires, and more.

“The insurance wants you to find the maintenance, wants you to find the tow, find who is going to do the repairs, the appraisal, and then once you get that done, you have to pay the deductible,” said Clark.

But Clark said finding an auto body shop to complete repairs on auto-steering columns isn’t easy.

“The mechanic shops can’t get their hands on steering column parts,” said Clark.

An employee at Airport Auto Parts says that’s because auto steering columns aren’t prone to wear and tear.

”That makes sense because if they’re breaking off the steering column, they’re breaking parts that you would have to buy from the dealer because an after-market is just not going to supply that,” the employee explained.

He said Airport Auto Parts has been out of some items for eight months.

“I’ve had to source it out to other suppliers. We’re an independent store, so I’m able to do that, but some of these company stores, they can’t do that,” he said.

Clark said that until she can repair her car, she depends on others to get around town.

“There are better ways to spend your time than stealing people’s cars when it’s their only means of transportation,” said Clark.

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