Unfortunately, this is not the first time the plant has experienced theft, with several other incidents occurring in recent years. Surprisingly, new cars go missing from auto manufacturers’ lots around the country, happening more often than you would think.
Car Theft is a Common Occurrence
While Grand Theft Auto is one of America’s most popular video games, the rise in theft happening around the country is not child’s play. According to Insurify, a vehicle gets stolen every 36 seconds nationwide. In 2020, there were 880,595 reported auto thefts, with the Ford pickup truck listed as the most stolen vehicle in the United States.
Despite security guards and fenced perimeters, theft from automaker’s factory lots is not uncommon. According to USA Today, in 2018, thieves smashed through the main gate of the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan, getting away with eight Ram pickup trucks, five of which were later recovered.
In 2021, Motor1 reported a “Hollywood-style heist” involving four brand-new Shelby GT500 Mustangs from Ford’s Flat Rock assembly plant in Michigan. According to Detroit news channel WDIV Local 4, the Stellantis Sterling Heights Assembly Plant has experienced a wave of thefts involving top-of-the-line Dodge Ram pickups, including a Ram TRX model worth more than $100,000.
Earlier this year, a Hellcat Challenger and $90,000 Trackhawk Jeep were taken from the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. In March, five Ram trucks were stolen from a secured factory lot in Shelby Township, and several Hellcat Chargers got lifted from the Auburn Hills facility.
Autoblog reports, “Stealing a new car from a storage lot is reportedly easier than it might sound.” They explained, “The keys are normally left inside of the vehicles while they’re parked on the storage lot, waiting to be dispatched to dealers.” Despite a prominent security presence, “thieves are finding ways to sneak into the lot, hop in a car, and drive off by ramming through the gates.”
Many stolen vehicles are recovered but often sustain significant damage or have parts such as the catalytic converters removed. Other cars are never found or reappear years later in total disrepair.
A high-profile heist of Ford trucks at the assembly plant
On June 10, 2022, Ford reported a million-dollar heist at their Dearborn Truck Plant storage lot in Dearborn, Michigan. Thieves broke into the secured lot and stole approximately $1 million worth of 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor pickup trucks. The high-performance vehicles have a base price of $69,905.
According to USA Today, the Dearborn police later recovered 13 of the trucks in multiple locations throughout Detroit and Dearborn. A Dearborn city spokesman said, “there was evidence of fences being rammed.” He revealed the recovered trucks showed “various states of disrepair” with “signs of damage and some things were stripped away, tires, that kind of thing.” One suspect is in custody, and the investigation remains active.
Ford Authority reported it is “unclear how they were able to get away with so many trucks,” considering the vehicles were parked behind a locked fence.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor
The five-passenger 4×4 pickup is a dream come true for off-road enthusiasts with an independent front suspension, 5-link rear suspension, sport-tuned shock absorbers, and an electronic-locking rear differential. The high-output twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine bolted to a 10-speed automatic transmission generates 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque.
Car and Driver refer to the 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor as a “pickup truck on steroids,” calling it “the biggest and baddest F-150 money can buy.” US News agrees, saying, “The Ford Raptor is the automaker’s off-road champion. It has the power and capability to conquer the most formidable challenges and a look that sends lesser trucks quaking to their garages.”