‘Free Steering Wheel Locks’: D.C.’s Latest Handout

“I went to the nation’s capital and all I got was this lousy steering wheel lock.”

Washington, D.C.’s had a bit of a problem with carjackings over the last five years, and that trend has continued into 2023. To help prevent the problem, Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that Hyundai and Kia have donated 1,000 steering wheel locks that are free on a first come, first serve basis for any D.C. resident who drives a 2011-2021 model car made by those two companies.

Beginning Friday, February 24, DC residents who own a 2011-2021 Kia or Hyundai can pick up a free steering wheel lock from a @DCPoliceDept

— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) February 23, 2023

According to Axios, car thefts in D.C. have increased every year since 2017. In 2022, the city experienced 485 incidents of vehicle theft.

The outlet noted that in October 2022, Police Chief Robert Contee told WUSA9 “our young people are showing up in crimes involving shootings, crimes involving carjackings at a pace that I have not seen in my 30-plus year career here with the Metropolitan Police Department.”

According to Contee, lockdowns during COVID can explain some of the increased violence among teenagers.

“As we kind of transition away from some of the restrictions that we saw during the pandemic, some of those social connections that our young people may have been lacking, I think it’s really starting to show up now,” he added at the time.

Now, according to Bowser, trends on social media are also encouraging crime. Hyundais and Kias were particularly susceptible to thefts after “a social media challenge that encourages using a USB cable to steal these types of cars” went viral and caused an increase in carjackings.

“Car theft is a serious problem – it is incredibly stressful and often costly and time-consuming for the victims, and it is dangerous to have these stolen cars on the road,” Bowser said in a press release. “I encourage all DC residents who own a 2011-2021 Kia or Hyundai to pick up their free steering wheel locks as soon as possible from a District station to prevent theft.”


The latest freebie for D.C. comes just weeks after the city council revamped its criminal code with soft-on-crime policies.

In reaction to Bowser’s tweet, concerned Twitter users gave the Democratic mayor a piece of their minds:

Wtf… This is how D.C. has decided to solve its crime/car theft problem? https://t.co/PGUT5JPoLc

— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) February 24, 2023

Beyond parody. https://t.co/fFsOLBVf8L

— Madeline Huffman (@madshuffman) February 24, 2023

Context: the D.C. City Council recently voted to *reduce* criminal penalties for carjackings https://t.co/oM9bCjhLXr

— Chad Gilmartin (@ChadGilmartinCA) February 24, 2023

How about we lock up the people committing these crimes instead? https://t.co/tEx4v8Sb5V

— Dave Martinez (@_dmart_) February 24, 2023

Isn’t it easier to resign?

— The Gambling Tailor (@KingTailorGang) February 23, 2023

Of course, Bowser won’t be resigning anytime soon, and the problems in D.C. won’t be resolved in short order either. In the meantime, it would appear that the city’s motto “Justitia Omnibus” which means “Justice For All” — has been replaced by “Free Steering Wheel Locks For All.*”

*Hyundai and Kia 2011- 21 owners only. 

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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