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2 alleged members of notorious ‘Kia Boys’ car theft ring caught after Washington heists: cops

Police in Washington say two self-proclaimed “Kia Boys” are behind bars after being charged with numerous felonies following a string of “violent robberies and brazen vehicle thefts.”

Earlier this year Hyundai and Kia unveiled software that was designed to thwart an epidemic of thefts of their vehicles, caused by a security flaw that was exposed on TikTok and other social media sites, leading to a trend of criminals dubbed the “Kia Boys.”

Bellevue Police Department (BPD) announced the arrests of Ralphe Manuma and Ardrell Davis, both 18 years old, on Friday. 

“These individuals terrorized our entire region, and I am very proud of the work of the many detectives, deputies, officers, and crime analysts who worked tirelessly to make sure that these individuals were held accountable for their actions.” BPD Chief Wendell Shirley said in a press release . “The residents of the entire Puget Sound region can sleep better knowing that these dangerous individuals are off the streets thanks to the hard work of law enforcement.”


Police say two Bellevue gas stations were robbed on Sept. 19, and that in one incident the suspect hit the clerk in the head with a gun before taking off with cash and items from the store. 

Shortly after the two robberies in Bellevue, authorities said, a police crime analyst discovered four similar crimes had taken place in Tukwila, SeaTac, White Center and Burien on the same night as the Bellevue robberies. 

Detectives believed the same suspects were involved in all six robberies. 

“One of the vehicles involved in the robberies, a stolen Hyundai Tucson, was later recovered by detectives,” police said. Evidence from inside the vehicle allegedly tied Manuma and Davis to the crimes. 

Manuma is accused of being involved in “multiple robberies in Tacoma,” including one on Sept. 17 in which he allegedly pointed a firearm at a victim and stole a necklace. He is also accused of being the driver of a stolen Kia in Lakewood on Oct. 5. 

Police say Davis is the suspect in “multiple felony investigations,” including a Sept. 12 Lakewood incident involving possession of a stolen vehicle. Police provided video of that incident where Davis is accused of taunting the victim of a stolen Kia as his associate drove off with the car. 


'Kia Boys' WA vehicle theft
kia theft

Manuma, of Tacoma, has been charged with five counts of robbery in the first degree, one count of unlawful imprisonment and one count of possession of a stolen vehicle. His bail was set at $750,000.

Davis, of Lakewood, has been charged with five counts of robbery in the first degree, one count of unlawful imprisonment and one count of taking a motor vehicle without permission in the second degree. His bail was set at $500,000. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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