Man stole Kia with USB cable before fight with cops

Willard J. Pratt mugshot [PCSO]
Willard J. Pratt. [PCSO]

An auto thief in Phoenix made it as far as Maricopa before police captured him Sunday. His method of stealing the car? A USB cable. 

The social app TikTok sparked a nasty national trend dubbed the “Kia challenge” that involves using a USB cable to start and steal the popular Korean automobiles. Here in Maricopa, it landed 42-year-old Willard J. Pratt in jail. 

But not before a tussle with cops, who said they found a loaded gun in the car, according to a probable cause statement obtained by InMaricopa. 

Just before 5:30 a.m., Maricopa Police Department received an alert from a security camera that a Kia Forte stolen in Phoenix was in town. 

An officer pulled the car over near West Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and North Porter Road.  

During the traffic stop, Pratt refused orders to exit the car and allegedly tried to restart the engine with a USB cable.  

Police pulled Pratt out of the car and tased him twice before he allegedly tried to flee. According to police documents, he continued to resist after being tackled. The struggle continued until a sergeant arrived and helped put Pratt in cuffs. 

During a search of the sedan, officers found a loaded Glock 22, a laptop and two glass pipes, which police said are used to smoke methamphetamine. A criminal record check showed Pratt had previous felony convictions and a felony warrant out of Gila River Indian Community. 

Pratt was booked into Pinal County jail on suspicion of a half-dozen felonies, including auto theft, aggravated assault on an officer, resisting arrest with force, drug paraphernalia, possessing a firearm during a felony and possessing a forbidden deadly weapon. 

His warrant out of GRIC added to the tally. 

According to Pinal County jail’s website, Pratt has court hearings scheduled for Aug. 18 and Aug. 22. 

He remains behind bars with a bond set at $20,000. 

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