EASTWOOD, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Kia cars keep getting stolen in Syracuse, but that’s only the start of problems for these owners.
It was just a regular Saturday evening in Eastwood. Chris Warguleski wasn’t home at the time, but his 2022 Blue Kia Sportage was. Like always, the SUV was sitting in front of his home and Warguleski says the doors were locked.
But little did he know, his Kia would soon be gone.
“The first thing I said, was where is my car?,” said Warguleski.
Warguleski had left his home around 2:30 p.m., catching a ride with his son. A neighbors home security camera showed the car still sitting on the driveway around 5:00 p.m.
“When they returned from church and walked up on the porch at 6:15 the car was gone. So it was taken in between 5:00 and 6:15,” said Warguleski.
Video shows the suspect speeding off with the Kia for nearly a week long joy ride. Dumping it a week later on the city’s Northside, miles away from Warguleski’s Eastwood home. Syracuse Police recovered the car nearly a week later on May 5. Warguleski said police called him around 8:00 a.m. Warguleski quickly headed to the area where police were waiting with his car.
“It was in front of like an eight apartment complex, small, kind of run down apartment complex,” said Warguleski.
The car had damage on the outside, including a dent and some scrapes. The inside was also trashed.
“Just ashes everywhere from I guess you know the blunts and all that, and the car stunk, the cop was like yeah it stinks,” said Warguleski.
But that’s the least of his worries.
“The steering column was totally just broken apart and the ignition system was knocked out of it or whatever they do to it,” said Warguleski.
Issues only Kia can repair.
“When they found out that I had an ignition, not a push button but ignition, they said don’t even bother bringing it over. They said they got 10 of them sitting on the lot right now and they are waiting for parts and we don’t know when we are going to get them in,” said Warguleski.
It could be months until Warguleski gets his Kia Sportage back.
Kia Corporate provided NewsChannel 9 with a statement: “We are working with Kia dealers around the country to transfer available parts to others in need, and also working closely with our parts suppliers to increase supply.”