FLAT ROCK, Mich. (WXYZ) — "Criminals are criminals and they steal to steal," Michigan State Police 1st Lt. Michael Shaw told 7 Action News Thursday when talking about thieves targeting brand new vehicles from factory lots.
In the latest heist, car thieves managed to drive six 2022 Mustangs right past a security guard and through an open gate at the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant around 3:20 a.m. Thursday.
Officers immediately began checking nearby gas stations for the stolen Mustangs because very little fuel was in them because they were still on the factory lot and didn't have much gas in them.
Another reason for not keeping much fuel in them is to keep thieves from getting very far without having to stop for gas, according to police.
MSP was able to nab one of the suspect, a 19-year-old man from Detroit, after the Mustang he was driving ran out of gas. Two more stolen vehicles were recovered a short time later after they also ran out of gas.
On June 4, five Mustangs were stolen from the same factory lot in Flat Rock. One was recovered.
Flat Rock Police said about 15 Mustangs have been stolen from the factory lot this year.
Police in Dearborn are continuing their investigation into the recent thefts of over a dozen F-150 Raptors from the Dearborn Truck Plant.
The company began reporting the stolen vehicles Friday. Since then, all 13 trucks have been recovered, according to a spokesperson for the city of Dearborn.
What remains unclear is what, if anything, Ford is doing to try to prevent the thefts that have led to high speed chases on area freeways.
7 Action News has reached out to Ford but so far, we've gotten no response on whether their security team is making any changes or if there are any to be made.
If the thefts had taken place during daytime hours, Lt. Shaw said troopers probably would not have pursued them.
"People are running from us at, I would say, an alarming rate," he said. "They know that possibly we're not going to put others lives at risk for whatever offense that was, but they're more willing to do so."
Anyone with information about the early morning thefts at the Ford factory in Flat Rock is urged to call investigators at 734-782-2496 ext. 2302.