Every year, more than 700,000 cars are stolen in the United States.
Most stolen cars are personal vehicles taken right off the street. Some of them are stolen from car dealerships. But as far as we know, only a few are ever taken fresh off the factory line.
A “well-planned heist” is how police in Warren, Michigan, described what happened May 3 when a (stolen) 2003 Ram pickup pulled up to the fence at the Ram truck assembly plant there. An occupant of the truck jumped out, cut the fence and the truck drove through to the factory’s holding lot as a security guard called police.
A group of people then leapt from the truck and took several freshly-built pickup trucks back through the fence, leaving their older truck behind. A pretty good trade if you ask us.
Experts interviewed by the Detroit Free Press said it’s likely the thieves drove the trucks straight to a port and into shipping containers that were immediately sent overseas.
Warren police say their investigation has been slowed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) which was at first hesitant to share information. The police department has since gotten vehicle identification numbers (VINs) for at least some of the stolen trucks, but neither FCA or the police can say for sure how many trucks were actually taken.
How were the thieves able to so easily take a bunch of new trucks seemingly unhindered? One theory is that new trucks are kept on the holding lot with the keys in them. That might explain why FCA wasn’t readily forthcoming with information.