Thieves target vulnerable cars in Linden Terrace


Photo by Jessica Spivey

The stolen car of Lindenwood’s student Danielle Newman.

Jessica Spivey, Photo Editor

On the night of Nov. 3, senior Danielle Newman parked and locked her car in the driveway like normal only to find out later that the car was missing.

 At 4:30 a.m. the next morning, Newman heard a knock on her front door that quickly turned her night into a nightmare.

“I went and answered the door, and there was a police officer outside,” Newman said. “He asked me if I was missing my car, and I looked at the driveway and it was gone.”

The thieves stole Newman’s 2017 Hyundai Elantra from her campus house on Glenco Drive. Newman says the thieves pulled off the plastic cover under her steering wheel and used a USB to turn on the car.

“It takes them less than a minute to steal the car,” Newman said. “You can look up how to do it on Youtube.”

Newman’s Hyundai is not the first to be stolen this semester. Another Hyundai was stolen off Glenco on Oct. 7.

Newman says the police found her car outside Metal Oak Casting in St. Charles after thieves rammed the car into the back doors of the store. For now, Newman is driving her grandpa’s Prius until she can get a new car.

“I’m not sure yet what I will get from my insurance company,” Newman said. “I just paid off that car.”

In response to the vehicle theft, Public Safety director Ryan Anderson sent a statement via email to share advice with students on how to protect their cars.

“Be aware: 2011 – 2021 Kia vehicles and 2016 – 2021 Hyundai vehicles are particularly vulnerable to theft due to a design flaw in the steering column,” Anderson said. “Owners of these vehicles should be especially vigilant in securing them and may want to consider purchasing a steering wheel lock.”

Anderson says a limited number of steering wheel locks are available for purchase at 5 Star Center in St. Louis.

Public Safety is asking students to report any suspicious activity to the St. Charles City Police Department by calling 911.

Students can reach Public Safety by calling (636) 949-4911.