Auto thefts are, of course, a terrible problem, but they’re common enough that most cases don’t make big waves in the news. That wasn’t the case with a brazen robbery at a Ford truck plant in Michigan last week, as thieves stole over a dozen F-150 Raptors and smashed their way through fences and other vehicles to make their escape. Dearborn Police Commander Timothy McHale shared details on the heist.
The suspects used one of the Raptors to ram the fence, and McHale said they rammed another F-150 on their way out. Amazingly, thieves were able to escape and drive off the lots past security in several of the trucks without damage. Others in the heist weren’t so lucky. One truck that has been recovered is completely totaled, while others are missing parts like tires and wheels. Some of the stripped trucks are otherwise undamaged, and a few of the trucks are completely intact.
McHale told Autoblog that five of the trucks didn’t have VINs, and noted that he doesn’t know their status. The eight remaining trucks have VINs and have been recovered. It’s common for auto manufacturers to withhold VINs on pre-production vehicles not intended to go for sale. The new F-150 Raptor has been on sale for a while, so their purpose is unclear, but Ford is likely pleased to have them back.
The F-150 Raptor starts at around $70,000, and the estimated value of the stolen trucks exceeds $1 million. Even though they’ve been recovered, Ford can’t turn around and sell them, so the damage has been done. Police have made one arrest in the case, but the investigation is ongoing, so we’ll likely hear more as other arrests are made.
As the microchip shortage and other supply chain issues rage on, companies sometimes build vehicles and store them in a partially completed state while waiting on components. It’s possible these trucks were sitting in that pre-finishing stage at the Dearborn facility.
These types of thefts are rare, but they have happened with other automakers. In March, thieves broke into a Stellantis facility and made out with four Ram trucks, including a Ram 1500 TRX. Earlier the same month, a group snatched three Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody cars, and in February, thieves picked up a Jeep and a Challenger Hellcat from another production plant.