Omaha auto theft victim pays for repairs after vehicle is returned

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – The wave of car thefts, especially Kia and Hyundai on the subway, appears to be slowing.

This is after a TikTok challenge spawned a nation full of car thieves.

Normally the Omaha police see about 20-30 Kias and Hyundais stolen here per month. In July, thieves took 120.

There are more real costs that owners have to deal with after getting their car back.

Getting back to normal will take Joy Gibbs time and money. It’s the side of being a victim that we don’t always see.

“I also think they messed up the transmission,” Joy said. “It doesn’t shift gears like it’s supposed to.”

Three weeks ago, someone stole Joy’s Kia from her driveway.

She was out of town for a funeral and didn’t even know she had been robbed when officers called to tell her she had been found.

“The seat was super high, so I think a small child must have been the only one to take it.”

His key no longer works in the ignition.

With a broken steering column, Joy now has to take a phone charging cable with her if she wants to drive anywhere.

“I think my battery is dying. Yes, the battery is exhausted. It’s because he thinks the key is still there.

It will cost him $500 to fix just the steering column.

She will spend $1,000 before the insurance kicks in.

“The only thing wrong before that was that he needed two front tyres.”

Now she is afraid it will be stolen again.

“I went to the store to get a reinforcement for the steering wheel. Everywhere I went it was off. They didn’t have any. At least word got around that you needed it to keep your car safe.

Without a steering wheel lock, Joy does the next best thing: she turns into a mechanic.

Alejandro L. Myatt