By on May 4, 2018

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]

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22 Comments on “Dodge the Security, Ram the Gate: New Pickups Stolen From Factory...”


  • avatar
    jfk-usaf

    No warranty on a stolen truck….. Who the hell wants an FCA vehicle outside of warranty…..?! Or maybe they are already stocking up on the black market parts inventory knowing that these things are going to break all the time…. ;)

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I can’t help it…”this would take precision driving in highly modified vehicles” RIP Paul W.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Warlords? That explains it then. You can’t weld a gun tripod to an aluminum bed and those ramboxes hold a lot of ammo.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      You can weld aluminum. You just need the right process (TIG, for example) and some practice (I’m not great at it).

      See: https://youtu.be/EHaJzAlyzRg

      The bed is probably welded, and it didn’t happen by magic.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    If they went to a ‘far-flung warlord’, where would that warlord take them for service?

    I’m guessing they were chopped.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @SCE to AUX – I’m with you on this one. A neighbour had the Cummins in his old Dodge die last summer. It cost him 10k for a used engine installed. To me it made no sense to spend 10k on a 12k truck but he was happy with the outcome.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, they don’t call ’em RAM for nothing…

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    You could say they were Gone in 60 Seconds.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    You must have a fantastic truck on your hands when people are breaking in to get their hands on them. Sure as heck nobody is breaking in to steal Fords (or even GMs).

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

      Aren’t Ford and GM trucks among the Top Five most often stolen vehicles in this country?

      (Three-second Google search.)

      Yes. Yes, they are.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    I would imagine, if they were headed to some “far flung warlord”, they would have taken the Rams from a CDJR dealer on one of the coasts, not from a plant in Michigan (which would have had much tighter security anyway). These were taken for parts for locals.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Yeah, they were taken to Detroit and chopped. Someone probably wanted a particular component. If the original demand was from an other manufacturer or supplier it would be amusing. It would go through a bunch of people, each one getting more criminal until you have this organized robbery.

  • avatar
    MBella

    “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.”

    I would assume that FIAT has a pretty large quantity of these trucks on factory grounds. The only way to verify which VINs were stolen would be check off every other VIN off their list and see which ones are left.

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

      Maybe it takes that long if Fiasler uses actual paper lists and pencils, but more likely it’s simply a matter of pointing barcode scanners at the VINs of the remaining stock. Even with a thousand trucks that shouldn’t take 12 hours.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Inside job.

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    Someone will talk eventually…

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    Did they crash the gate doin’ 98?


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