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Nationwide Hyundai, Kia theft trend now appearing in Harford County; police say 69 auto thefts this year

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CBS News Baltimore Live

BALTIMORE -- The alarming trend of juveniles stealing Hyundais and Kias continues, this time in Harford County.

The Harford County Sheriff tells WJZ his deputies arrested five teens recently after two separate auto thefts.

The agency is seeing an uptick in auto thefts.

At this time last year, they had 38. They've had 69 already this year.

"I came to the scene and it was just total devastation," Ken Sorensen, who runs the Harford County Scanner Facebook page said.

Ken Sorensen, who runs the Harford County Scanner Facebook page shot video of a crash caused by one of the allegedly stolen cars, which was a Hyundai.

The crash happened May 11 at the intersection of Route 40 and Joppa Farm Road. The car entered the intersection, hitting another car, injuring the driver.

"It's sad that stuff like this happens, especially with young kids throwing their lives away," Sorensen said.

After the crash, deputies arrested three juveniles and found a gun and a bb gun at the scene.

"People think, 'Oh okay, somebody's insurance is just gonna pay for,' it but there's a potential for harm," Harford County Sheriff's Office Col. William Davis said.

Just a day earlier, deputies spotted a stolen Kia with two teens in it on Harford Square Road in Edgewood.

Investigators say a 13-year-old was behind the wheel.

The suspects drove off, eventually bailing out of the car about seven miles away in Belcamp where they were arrested. Drugs and two bullets were found at the scene.

"These are kids driving cars -- 13 years old," Col. Davis said. "There's no driving training and they're out there driving."

Col. William Davis doesn't believe these two incidents are connected, but the five juveniles arrested were from Baltimore City and County.

Three of them were eventually released to their parents.

He says deputies are doing everything they can to make arrests, but they're still seeing a sharp increase in juvenile auto thefts.

"Until the legislature fixes it and there's consequences for their actions it's not going to slow down," Col. Davis said.

Harford County Deputies remind Kia and Hyundai owners that there are a number of things they can do to prevent auto thefts, including making sure their cars are locked,and getting a steering wheel lock.

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