It’s not unusual for new truck buyers to want to get their hands on their new purchase as soon as possible, however, it was thieves, not overzealous truck aficionados, that snuck into Fiat Chrysler’s plant in Warren, Michigan, took eight trucks right off the end of the assembly line.
The group stole a 2003 Ram from a home in Warren and rolled into the facility through a hole cut in the fence before dawn, to grab the trucks, roar out of the site crashing through the gate like something straight out of a movie.
Since the theft, which took place at 3:55 a.m., one of the trucks has been recovered, but the Warren Police Department and surrounding cities, including Detroit, are on the lookout for these full-size pickups. The truck that was recovered was found in Detroit.
“This was well planned,” said Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer told the Detroit Free Press. “They were able to take at least 10 or 11 Ram trucks out on a convoy.” He added that they probably had 10 people in the bed of the 2003 Ram.
(FCA halts production in Brampton due to supplier strike. Click Here for the story.)
The investigation has been slowed because Fiat Chrysler had to inventory its vehicles to determine the vehicle identification numbers so the trucks could be identified.
“They couldn’t tell us for sure,” Dwyer said to the Free Press. “They’re conducting an audit to determine how many. They have their own surveillance team. We’re waiting for them to report back to us.”
The burning question is how was it so easy to steal eight trucks? It’s rumored that the keys are kept in the vehicles, although Fiat Chrysler declined to confirm it.
(Click Here for more about FCA recalling 300K Rams for gas tank leak.)
“FCA US is working with the Warren Police Department regarding the theft of several Ram Trucks,” FCA said in a statement. “The company will be assessing security measures at the location and implementing any necessary changes to prevent future incidents.”
The plant, just north of Detroit, produces as many as 600 trucks per shift. It’s the third best-selling truck annually behind the Ford F-Series and Chevy Silverado.
Law enforcement teams are scanning surveillance video along the escape route and throughout the area. The theft was likely the effort of car theft rings to secure parts or entire trucks.
(To see more about FCA’s record Q1 results, Click Here.)
“We’re calling it the mass-order business,” said Mark Wagenschutz, executive director of HEAT, an independent Michigan agency funded by the insurance companies to help eliminate auto theft told the Free Press. “Several parts of the Ram are in high demand. You don’t know if they wanted the Ram or pieces. They’ll have to get off site before they can lift the hood and take things out.”