Straight from a Hollywood script, thieves stole a convoy of new 2018 Ram 1500 pickups from a Michigan Ram assembly factory. The thieves crashed through a gate with the trucks and drove south, according to Fox News.
One of the eight stolen trucks was found out of gas Friday afternoon in Detroit. Original estimates of ten to 11 stolen Rams have been changed to eight. Seven trucks are still missing.
The factory break-in and dramatic escape happened about 4 a.m. on Thursday, May 3, in Warren, Michigan. A group of thieves arrived at the plant in a stolen 2003 Ram truck, cut a hole in the factory fence, and drove off with eight new trucks. They drove in full view of a security guard who called the police as the convoy was leaving.
Initially, few details about the specific vehicles that were stolen had been provided by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), according to local law enforcement, but FCA did provide the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) late Friday morning, the Detroit Free Press reported.
With the VINs, the police can learn everything they need about the stolen trucks. They could even print a window sticker with the full feature and option list and colors. The delay in receiving the details confused and frustrated Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer.
“We’re waiting for them,” Dwyer told the Free Press before receiving the VINs. “We have absolutely nothing. Why aren’t they calling me? We can’t do an investigation if they’re not working with us. We don’t even know if it’s nine or 11 vehicles stolen. Or what colors. Or the VIN numbers.”
A police hotline set up for anyone with information about the theft sits quietly, despite the offer of a reward for information.
“We’re asking for any information that anyone would have,” Dwyer said. “Obviously there are people that are aware of the theft and have information. We’re asking those people to provide information confidentially.”
FCA issued a company statement on Thursday. “FCA US is working with the Warren Police Department regarding the theft of several Ram Trucks … The Company will be assessing security measures at the location and implementing any necessary changes to prevent future incidents.”
The newly finished trucks were parked in an area ready for distribution to dealerships right after they rolled off the assembly line. Dwyer suggested the stolen trucks may have been driven directly to a warehouse for storage until they could be shipped to a bulk buyer.
Organized car theft gangs and rings are responsible for the majority of vehicle thefts in the U.S., according to Ivan Blackman, the manager of Vehicle Identification at the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
“Now groups have tools and knowledge to steal a specific type of vehicle. They’re organized and specialized,” Blackman told Digital Trends last year. “Most car theft in the U.S. is by pros working in groups.”
FCA’s RAM 1500 is the third best-selling and third most stolen vehicle in the U.S. Ford’s F-series trucks and Chevy’s Silverado hold the first and second place spots, respectively, for both sales and thefts.
This story is developing and we will update as we learn more.
Updated on May 4: Added information about a recovered truck and changed the number stolen to eight based on new police reports.
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