HomeTop StoriesBuffalo teen convicted in KIA Challenge case and will serve up to...

Buffalo teen convicted in KIA Challenge case and will serve up to 9 years in prison for theft of at least 10 vehicles

August 19 – LOCKPORT – A Buffalo teen is going to jail for his role in a Tik Tok-inspired spate of auto thefts in the falls in February and March.

Niagara County Court Judge Caroline Wojtaszek sentenced Michael A. Arcay to 3 to 9 years behind bars on his guilty plea to one count of third-degree grand larceny and two counts of third-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Niagara County District Attorney Brian Seaman said Arcay was “a self-declared member of the ‘KIA Boys’,” a group of teens, largely from Buffalo, engaged in the theft of KIA and Hyundai motor vehicles as part of a viral Internet scam known as like the Kia Challenge. The scam targeted the theft of Kia and Hyundai vehicles in the US and Australia manufactured between 2011 and 2021.

The scam started in October 2022 and to date has led to hundreds of car thefts and eight fatalities in the US. Four of those deaths occurred on Oct. 23 in Buffalo.

See also  The US and major donors are demanding an independent UN relief operation in rebel-held northwestern Syria

Buffalo police said the 16-year-old driver of a stolen Kia Sportage crashed into a barrier on the Kensington Expressway, killing four of the six teens in the vehicle. The dead ranged in age from 14 to 19 years.

Police said the KIA SUV was traveling at 115 mph just before hitting the barrier and that the incident was related to the Kia Challenge.

The now 17-year-old driver was sentenced to 1 to 4 years in prison on Thursday for his guilty plea to four counts of second-degree manslaughter and related charges.

Arcay had been charged with stealing or possessing 10 stolen Kia or Hyundai vehicles in the falls. In one incident, Arcay led police on a high-speed chase while driving a stolen vehicle.

“The theft of Kia and Hyundai vehicles, fueled largely by social media, has been a major concern for law enforcement across the country,” Seaman said. “Stealing someone else’s car is a serious crime. Leading the police on a high-speed chase puts lives in danger. The end of these crimes isn’t internet fame, it’s jail.”

See also  'Russian spy gang' lived in an apartment a mile from the RAF base
- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments