UPDATE (2/13/2023)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office announced via social media that they have received a limited supply of steering wheel locks for both Hyundai and Kia owners.

Those who drive these types of vehicles may call MCSO for an appointment Mondays through Fridays between 8 a.m. through 4 p.m.

To receive a steering wheel lock, MCSO encourages residents in the below communities to call and set up an appointment.

RPD is expecting to make an announcement about lock hand-outs in the coming days.


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Approximately 400 Hyundai and Kia vehicles were stolen in Monroe County, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. This is due to a technique shared via social media on how people can steal these vehicles.

In an effort to protect people’s vehicles after a recent spike in car thefts, Hyundai donated steering wheel locks to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to provide to local Hyundai owners for free.

A flood of phone calls came in Monday morning for the devices. Deputy Brendan Hurley said the idea started when they reached out to Hyundai, expressing a desire to partner in some way to help the community.

“So what they came up with is, a device that locks the steering wheel, so even if you get in the car you start the car, you can’t drive away – you can’t steer the car it’s not going anywhere – so they were super receptive to us about it Hyundai sent us a bunch of them,” said Hurley.

A shipment of nearly 100 locks Hurley said — have all been distributed for the day, but more are on the way.

“This is something that would deter– or prevent– anyone wanting to do it because it’s extra work,” said Steven Horn, AAA Senior Business Advisor. AAR/ERS. He said if you’re looking to buy one of these, prices vary… but the actual visual of this on the wheel can make a criminal think twice. 

“But as long as they go into the steering wheel and there’s an extension to the end to where it’s difficult to make the turns, then they all can be used,” said Horn.

Steve Horn, AAA Senior Business Advisor. AAR/ERS

Hurley said crooks are still smashing windows to gain access, sometimes for valuables. If this happens, he says to call 911 immediately. 

“It alerts us something happened, a crime happened, it gets us involved right away – so we can help them try to find these vehicles,” he said, adding, “the sooner we’re notified – the sooner we can start looking for it and try to recover it.”

According to MCSO, Kia will donate steering wheel locks to the sheriff’s office for local Kia owners as well. MCSO will announce when those are available.

Law enforcement is urging car owners — especially Hyundai and Kia owners — to take further precautions, such as locking your car, making sure the car is not running, not leaving your keys in the car, and parking your vehicle in a well-lit area.