Hampton Roads man takes $100 Uber ride home after car stolen in Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Michael Barnhill of the Hampton Roads area was touring Richmond with a friend early February only to leave without his car after it was stolen.

Michael Barnhill said he parked his car at the Seven South Crenshaw Way Parking Garage on Saturday, Feb. 3 while taking a trip into the city with a friend. However, when he came back, his car was gone.

“We decided to take a trip up to Richmond on that Saturday and tour the downtown area, went through a few restaurants and bars, and came out and the vehicle was missing out of the parking garage,” Barnhill said.

Barnhill told 8News his 2018 Subaru Impreza was a five-speed stick-shift which is hard to come by, and if it isn’t found it will be difficult to retrieve again.

“If it isn’t found, it’s going to be hard to even try to find that same vehicle,” Barnhill said. “With the way the economy is and interest rates and prices of vehicles are out the roof still, I don’t…[know], it’s just a waiting game, you know, a waiting game.”

Barnhill spent more than $100 on a two-hour Uber ride back home to the Hampton Roads area.

In 2023, there were over 1,578 motor vehicle thefts reported in the City of Richmond, 848 of the vehicles stolen were either Kias or Hyundais.

For a couple of years now, law enforcement have been warning of a spike in car thefts among Kias and Hyndais after a viral trend on the video-sharing app TikTok showed how to use a USB cable to override the ignition systems.

According to authorities, Kia and Hyundai vehicles manufactured between 2010 and 2021 were the most at-risk for thefts due to their mechanical ignition keys.

Barnhill is reminding those at home that car thefts continue to span past these two models and can happen to anyone.

The Richmond Police Department is reminding the public to lock their car doors and to not leave valuable items inside of their vehicles to prevent break-ins and theft.

Police officials have let both Barnhill and 8News know they are continuing to investigate the car theft.

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