How to Keep Your Car Safe


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Car break-ins have increased in Clayton and St.Louis in 2022.

Throughout Clayton, citizens have noticed an increasing number of car thefts and other car related crimes. Clayton High School Senior Ava Marsden’s family has had a lot of experience with this. After two car thefts, one attempted car theft, and an attempted catalytic converter theft, the family has had more than their fair share of trouble with this problem. Marsden says, “It is definitely frustrating for my family because no matter what precautions we take, it keeps happening!”

Since 2021, the Clayton Police Department has recorded a 90% increase of car thefts within Clayton. The increase is mainly attributed to the “kia boys” trend. In the trend that originally started on tiktok, young kids and teenagers use phone chargers to start cars. These cars are 2010-2021 models of both Kias and Hyundais.

Clayton Police Chief Mark Smith said, “This trend was just discovered this year, and now we are up 10 stolen cars, both Kias and Hyundais.” However, the issue is not just in Clayton. The City of St. Louis has seen a 972% increase in Kia and Hyundai thefts.

 It is recommended by Chief Smith that owners of these cars get a Club device to protect their car. The Club device goes over the steering wheel and stops thieves from being able to start the car. 

Another reason car thefts have gone up in Clayton and around the country is because people leave their keys in the car. Since 2020 the Clayton Police department has observed that 70 percent of car thefts in Clayton are a result of people leaving their keys in their car. Chief Smith highly recommends removing valuables, especially keys, from your car to prevent theft. 

Another way to help prevent theft is for citizens to add the cameras they have around their property to the Community Camera Program. 

The program allows the police to contact you if a crime happens around you. The police do not control your cameras but they are entered into a database of cameras that can be used to collect video surveillance and evidence. To find more information on how to do this go to

Most importantly to keep yourself safe, Chief Smith says, “Definitely don’t intervene if someone is breaking into a car. We’ve had guns pointed at people.” If you see a car crime happening, call 911 immediately.