Online trend believed to have sparked vehicle vandalism in Summerland, B.C.

A B.C. senior may be the victim of an online trend of auto thieves targeting vehicles like hers.

The morning of Remembrance Day, Summerland senior Sharon Jestin, found her vehicle severely damaged, possibly a total loss.

“We were getting ready to go to all the functions and we came out to the car. It had been broken into,and the window was all smashed,” said Sharon’s daughter, Ashley Jestin.

“The steering column is completely ruined. They ripped down the cover that goes on the ignition, and they tried to turn on the ignition with some kind of tool and destroyed it.”

Sharon is no stranger to auto vandalism. Just two months ago her back window was smashed in while the car was parked outside the Parkdale Place Housing Society.

However, she says this time was very different. Written on her car door were the words ‘Kia boys failed’ along with other vulgar language.

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After a quick internet search, Ashley realized her mother might have been targeted because of the make of her car.

“I looked up ‘Kia Boys’ and it’s something on the internet where they post a video on how to boost Kias and Hyundais really quickly with a USB cable,” said Ashley.

“It’s like a thing now, people are tagging break-ins and trying to be Instagram-famous.”

According to TikTok videos circulating the internet, the thieves will take out the ignition, leaving the victim without a way to start their car, other than hot-wiring it.

Ashley and her mother believe the vandals came back to steal the vehicle after initially vandalizing it, as the ignition was found further tampered with a day after the initial damage.

“I think they came back yesterday, when I had a look at it, it wasn’t pushed in and this morning when I looked at it it was pushed in greater,” said Ashley.

Ashley says people should consider putting a club on their steering wheel, but hopes this type of vandalism doesn’t happen to anyone else.

Sharon Jestin has reported the incident to the RCMP.

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