Fresh off a container ship, these Hyundais were gone before the owners had even taken delivery.
Almost any gearhead can talk at length about the finer points of Gone in 60 Seconds, but none of us are silly enough to try pulling it off. Someone in South Philly decided to try their luck earlier this week, as the local news has reported a fleet of Hyundai vehicles was discovered stolen early Tuesday morning.
The theft took place late Monday night or early Tuesday morning near the port of South Philadelphia. The initial investigation focused on a nearby CSX railyard, and police say they are interviewing security guards at the port. Authorities issued radio alerts with vehicle descriptions, and none of the cars had tags or registration.
The word 'fleet' is a little misleading, as CSX has confirmed that three vehicles were stolen. The statement also claims that one of the vehicles has been recovered and an arrest has been made.
A massive theft is shocking, but it's not exactly like the vehicles were in a maximum-security environment. The port had just unloaded the Hyundai models but left the keys inside, so they weren't guarded with the utmost care.
Police have not shared details on which Hyundai models were stolen, but the fact that they came off a container ship could offer some insights into the lost models. The Palisade SUV is built in Hyundai's Ulsan, South Korea facility, which also produces the Veloster, Tucson, Kona and Kona EV, Nexo, and Ioniq. The Elantra and Sonata are built in Alabama.
It may sound crazy to heist several cars at once, especially considering police would swarm anyone seen driving one or trying to sell one. Drivers around the country are reporting an uptick in thefts of components such as catalytic converters, steering wheels, infotainment screens, and more. The ongoing microchip shortage has made certain items extremely valuable, so it's possible thieves will attempt to strip the cars and sell individual components. Whether they can pull that off before being tracked or reported is yet to be seen.
Hyundai seems to have bad luck getting its cars into the United States from overseas. In late 2019, the automaker lost thousands of cars when a cargo ship tipped off the coast of Georgia. All 24 crew members made it off the ship alive, but it took almost a year even to begin recovery efforts for the roughly 4,000 cars that went down.