STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – Auto thieves are stealing brand new vehicles from outside the factories where they were made, and one automaker seems to be getting hit especially hard.
In some cases, thieves are targeting high-end models that sell for up to $100,000, and remarkably, it’s happening at places where security is prominent.
“We need security at gate one for four trucks that were just stolen,” said security.
There was another smashed gate at the Stellantis Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, and more brand new top-of-the-line Dodge Ram pick-ups were driven away, including one Ram TRX model that can cost more than $100,000.
“Two charcoal grey, one bright blue, one silver TRX,” security said over the radio scanner.
“This is crazy criminals,” said Fawwaz Habeeb. “This is uncalled for. Crazy. I’ve never seen something like this.”
Habeeb works across the street from the smashed gate and asks how people can walk onto a secured auto plant lot and drive off with the most expensive models, like the TRX.
The same thing happened a week ago at the very same location.
“TRX last time,” said Habeeb. “I seen one hit a semi-truck.”
He’s talking about this photo posted on the Metro Detroit News Instagram page.
Sources tell Local 4 News that five Ram trucks were stolen from a lot in Shelby Township. On March 3, Hellcat widebody Chargers were stolen from a lot in Auburn Hills. On Feb. 28, the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit got hit again, this time for a $90,000 Trackhawk Jeep and a Hellcat Challenger.
Using Drone 4, Shawn Ley was able to show how secured fences wrapped the lots as security is on every lot -- most times at every gate.
“To be honest with you, I see a security guard every single day when I drive by,” Habeeb said.
In a statement, Stellantis says, “Stellantis is working with the Sterling Heights Police Department regarding the theft of several vehicles early Tuesday morning from a shipping yard that services the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant managed by a third party. As this is an open investigation, the company is not commenting any further on what vehicles were stolen or how they were stolen.”
Sterling Heights police said they would have extra patrols outside the gate of Stellantis as there is also a Macomb County Auto Theft Task Force investigating.