Irish CNN journalist Donie O'Sullivan has car stolen as part of weirdly specific online challenge
The popular journalist was "hit by the Kia Boyz", it seems.
He stole hearts and minds with his viral coverage of the US insurrection on a fateful day in January of 2021, but popular CNN journalist Donie O'Sullivan has fallen victim to a high-profile theft of strange design.
On Monday, O'Sullivan revealed via Twitter that his rental car was stolen on the previous evening in St. Louis, Missouri.
According to the Kerry native, his specific rental car – a Kia – may have been deliberately targeted as part of a strange online challenge carried out by people referring to themselves as the 'Kia Boyz', which kind of sounds like a low-rent gang that Batman might scrap with on a quiet night in Gotham.
"Cop asks what kind of car it was... I say a Kia," explained O'Sullivan. "He nods his head and says something like, 'Oh yeah, you got hit by the Kia Boyz...'. Cops are saying it's an online challenge."
O'Sullivan initially directly associated the 'challenge' with TikTok but later deleted his tweet after another journalist pointed out that the supposed 'TikTok challenge' actually appears to be unfolding primarily on Instagram and YouTube.
"The cop I dealt with said the tactics for stealing Kias are spreading online and that some people have been posting videos of stolen cars for the likes," noted O'Sullivan in a follow-up tweet.
So my rental car was stolen last night in St.Louis ...
Cop asks what kind of car it was... I say a Kia. He nods his head and says something like, "oh yeah, you got hit by the Kia Boyz…”
Cops are saying it’s an online challenge… but…
— Donie O'Sullivan (@donie) August 1, 2022
The criminal craze has emerged in America in recent months.
According to Insider, the trend was first identified last December in Milwaukee – get your 'Alice Cooper in Wayne's World' references in now – with a spate of Kia and Hyundai vehicles targeted for theft.
The vehicles are accessed by using a USB cord. Once stolen, the thieves joyride for a time before crashing or abandoning the cars. CarBuzz noted in December that as many as 30 thefts of Kia or Hyundai vehicles were occurring on a daily basis.
Police in St. Petersburg, Florida reported on the "unusual trend" at the end of July, stating that 23 out of 56 stolen cars in the preceding two-week period were Kia or Hyundai models.
Authorities in several additional US states have reported similar incidents.
KIA & Hyundai Theft Alert!#stpete pd is seeing an unusual trend.Since July 11th, 23 out of 56 stolen cars have been Kia/Hyundais models 2021 and older,that use keys to start.
Anyone with a KIA/Hyundai that uses a key, **please** #lockitup pic.twitter.com/l2ZwVHP7cd
— St. Pete Police (@StPetePD) July 27, 2022