DC woman's Kia Soul stolen, recovered twice in 18 months

A D.C. woman's stolen car story is going viral. It's been shared and seen thousands of times now on social media.

That's because it's not the first time Nikki Peele's Kia Soul was stolen, and needless to say, she's frustrated.

Nikki discovered her Kia was stolen from her spot in the seemingly secure parking garage of her building on M Street in Northeast D.C. on Monday afternoon and took to X to post about it.

She called D.C. police and was able to track the vehicle because she had an Apple AirTag in it.

Nikki Peele's Kia Soul was stolen and recovered twice in 18 months.

A couple of hours later, she posted an update online saying her vehicle was found by officers in Prince George's County in Maryland, sitting outside a home in Temple Hills.

On Tuesday, Nikki told FOX 5 the car is currently in an impound lot.

This same car was last stolen in February 2023 from another Northeast D.C. parking garage. Nikki said it took six weeks to get it back and fixed.

This time, she may be looking at months.

"Do I think anyone is going to catch these people? No, I don't. So what's next is, I have to pick up a rental car. I only have it for 30 days and I have to figure out where to get my car fixed, and I have to figure out if I'm going to keep the car," she said. "I was sobbing to my mom about it, and she said, "Nikki it's not worth your life.'"

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Nikki said the car is fully paid off, and she pays $275 per month for parking in her building. 

She also has memories of it tied to her dog, who passed away, who loved riding in the car with her.


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Because she had been a victim before, Nikki's vehicle had two steering wheel locks on it, security stickers, and a boot-like contraption meant to deter criminals. Still, none of that worked.

"This is not just about a vehicle. It's not just about property, and again I'm happy I wasn't hurt, and I pray nobody else was hurt, but this has to stop because people are terrified, and people are doing the right things. It's getting out of control," she said. 

Below is a statement from LCOR property management: 

"We are working collaboratively with the appropriate authorities and have provided the necessary footage to MPD. The safety and security of our residents will continue to be our top priority. As such, we are reviewing the events surrounding the incident to inform the future protocol and usage of the automated garage system."

Kia sent FOX 5 the following statement: 

"Kia continues to take comprehensive action to enhance the security of our vehicles in an effort to better protect our customers and prevent criminals from using methods of theft popularized on social media to break the law and steal or attempt to steal certain vehicle models. As a result of our actions, which include providing free software security upgrades, distributing steering wheel locks to customers at no cost, and offering complimentary hardware modifications to the vehicle’s ignition cylinder body, we have seen reports of decreases in vehicle thefts in several cities, including Chicago, Buffalo, St. Louis, and others.  We remain focused on working with law enforcement agencies across the country and moving forward to continue to combat car theft and the role social media has played in encouraging it.  

In response to questions about the specific steps we have taken, we’re continuing to strongly encourage eligible customers to receive the software upgrade, which we developed and rolled out last year, and which is designed to restrict the operation of the vehicle’s ignition system should a potential criminal attempt to steal a locked vehicle without the key. To date, almost 1.2 million Kia vehicles nationwide have received the upgrade and we continue to spread awareness about its availability by establishing a dedicated website with detailed information, hosting over 35 off-site events in cities across the country, including in the DC area, to make it easier for eligible customers to receive the upgrade, and partnering with Carfax to inform owners that their vehicle is eligible for the upgrade. 

We also continue to provide steering wheel locks to owners of impacted vehicles that are not eligible for the software upgrade at no cost to them. These free steering wheel locks further enhance a vehicle’s security and can serve as a theft-deterrent to potential car thieves. Kia customers can obtain free, Kia-provided locks through their local law enforcement or they can request a steering wheel lock from Kia directly through the dedicated website. To date, we have distributed more than 370,000 locks and we will continue to provide them as they are needed. We also recently developed and introduced a new hardware modification, which is designed for the vehicles that are not eligible for the software upgrade, and which works to combat theft by reinforcing the ignition cylinder body and preventing its removal through the method of theft promoted in videos that have spread across social media encouraging criminal activity. 

As we stated earlier, Kia will continue to work with law enforcement agencies across the country to combat car theft and the role social media has played in encouraging it, and we remain fully committed to supporting our customers and to vehicle security."