2 teens arrested for crashing, fleeing from stolen car in New Bedford, police blame ‘Kia Challenge’

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WLNE) — The New Bedford Police Department said two teenagers were arrested for crashing a stolen car and fleeing from police afterwards.

Police said that on Tuesday, Aug. 15, around 6 p.m., an officer was patrolling the city’s north-end when they noticed a Kia Optima driving erratically.

The trooper turned on their lights and siren in an attempt to stop the Kia but the driver continued on, driving at a high rate of speed and disregarding traffic laws in the process, officials said.

The Kia came to a stop after colliding with another car and striking a tree near the intersection of Weld and Mt. Pleasant Streets.

Officials said two juveniles, a 17-year-old girl who was driving, and a 16-year-old boy who was a passenger, both got out of the car and fled on foot after the crash.

The girl was caught in  front of “Fire Station 7,” and the boy was also caught shortly after.

Police said their investigation revealed that the Kia was reported stolen earlier that day. They said the ignition was broken and there was a USB cable sticking out of it.

Authorities added that recently, a disproportionate number of Kias and Hyundais have been stolen since a rising trend on social media known as the “Kia Challenge” taught users how to override the cars’ anti-theft systems.

The boy had been charged previously for attempting to break into another Kia last month. He was also charged in both January and June of this year for receiving stolen vehicles, one of which was also a Kia, police said.

Prior to his arrest on Aug. 15, the boy had eight open cases in New Bedford Juvenile Court, officials added.

Anyone with information regarding criminal activity can leave an anonymous tip at the New Bedford Police Department at 508-99-CRIME, or by filling out an online tip form.

Categories: Massachusetts, New Bedford, News