Stellantis-operated storage lots in and around Detroit have been hit by a wave of thefts in recent weeks. Thieves are getting their hands on new, high-end models such as the Dodge Challenger Hellcat by going straight to the source, helping themselves, and driving off.
Detroit news channel WDIV Local 4 reported that over half a dozen new cars and trucks have been stolen from various storage lots since the beginning of 2022. On March 10, five Ram trucks were taken from a secured facility in Shelby Township. Several more Ram trucks were stolen on March 8, and one smashed into a semi truck's trailer as it attempted to get away. On March 3, thieves took three Dodge Challenger Hellcat models from a lot in Auburn Hills. And, on February 28, a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and a Dodge Challenger Hellcat were stolen from a lot near the Jefferson North assembly plant. Many of the vehicles that thieves are targeting cost nearly $100,000.
Stealing a new car from a storage lot is reportedly easier than it might sound. Citing anonymous sources, WDIV explained that the keys are normally left inside of the vehicles while they're parked on the storage lot, waiting to be dispatched to dealers. Security guards patrol the property, yet the thieves are finding ways to sneak into the lot, hop in a car, and drive off by ramming through the gates.
Stellantis told the news channel that the Sterling Heights Police Department is investigating the thefts, and that at least one of the lots is managed by a third-party company. It declined to comment on the number of vehicles stolen or the methods used because the investigation is ongoing. In the meantime, the Sterling Heights Police Department plans to send extra patrol cars to the areas around the storage lots.
There's no word on whether the missing cars have been found. And, this isn't the first time that thieves have stolen new V8-powered Dodge and Ram vehicles in the Detroit area. In October 2021, thieves stole four cars from a Dodge and Ram dealership about an hour away from Detroit; one was a rare 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat. All four cars were recovered, though the Durango was stuffed into a wall. And, in May 2018, eight Ram trucks were stolen from a factory in Warren, Michigan, by thieves who got away by driving through the main gates.