Dodge the Security, Ram the Gate: New Pickups Stolen From Factory


2018 Ram 3500 Cummins towing, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Police in Michigan are flummoxed and frustrated after a theft of nearly a dozen brand new Ram pickups from the Warren Truck Assembly Plant. Like a scene from Gone in 60 Seconds, the ne’er-do-wells are alleged to have crashed freshly manufactured Rams through secured gates before hightailing it south on Mound Road.

“This was well-planned,” said Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer, who takes home top honors in today’s Most Obvious Statement competition.

The thieves apparently drove to the plant in a 2003 Ram pickup (very considerate of the robbers to stay on brand) they allegedly stole earlier in the day from a residence in Warren. After offloading a dozen or so drivers, someone cut a hole in the plant’s fence to gain yard access. In what must have been a scene from Grand Theft Auto V, the pickups then crashed through a metal gate and took off in a southerly direction.

A security guard saw all this go down, calling the cops at 3:55 a.m. while watching in disbelief as factory fresh trucks roared out of the compound. Can’t say I blame the person for their action – armed or not, I wouldn’t have been eager to face off with a dozen or more burglars bent on making off with heavy trucks. Cops are seeking security footage from FCA and nearby businesses.

Unauthorized appropriation of so many new vehicles from a secure lot suggest someone’s “filling an order,” according to theft experts interviewed by the Detroit Free Press. “We’re calling it the mass order business,” said Mark Wagenschutz, executive director of a Michigan agency funded by the insurance companies to help eliminate auto theft, in a statement to Freep.

For his part, top cop Dwyer isn’t speculating whether this is the work of a crime ring, citing the open and ongoing investigation. It is entirely possible the thieves were not after the model-year 2018 Ram pickups as a unit but rather seeking a specific part of truck like the nav system. Foiling that theory is a nav system that’s the same in just about everything FCA makes. They didn’t need to take Rams for that.

On the other hand, if this is an “order” by some oligarch or far-flung warlord, the trucks could very well have been quickly loaded onto a non-descript carrier and hauled off. It wouldn’t take long to get the machines to a port, stuff them in a container, and ship the works offshore.

Dwyer apparently expressed frustration at FCA’s snail-like response time, kvetching that the company was still doing inventory 12 hours after the theft, working to figure out VINs and colors to help track down the stolen vehicles. Right now, police are saying they have no leads.

The investigation continues. (I’ve always wanted to end a post that way.)

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]