Stolen vehicles in Detroit are being sold for tens of thousands of dollars less than their actual value, according to authorities and court documents, leading to arrests.
A criminal complaint obtained by The Associated Press shows Dodge muscle cars have been taken from Michigan dealerships and automakers, with thieves using cloned key fobs.
An Ohio-based theft ring was reportedly broken up after the robbery of a US postal worker led authorities to connect several men to car thefts in the Detroit area.
The complaint said investigators found that Dodge Chargers, Challengers, Durangos and Ram pickup trucks worth up to $ 100,000 were turning up in Ohio, Indiana and East Coast shipping ports after being sold for $ 15,000.
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Some thieves were selling to buyers in other areas as well, using Instagram.
Many of the cars were being driven directly off dealership and assembly plant lots, with perpetrators using “pro pads” to clone keys.
Four people were arrested – who were believed to have paid for one – after someone drove a Ram pickup through the glass wall of a showroom northwest of Detroit and police tracked one of the stolen cars.
FOX 2 Detroit reported in August that three children between the ages of 11 and 14 were arrested in the storage lot of the Jefferson North Plant.
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They were apparently trying to carjack Dodge Hellcat Chargers and Challengers.
Police have started working directly with Stellantis.
Fox Business’ request for comment from the automaker was not immediately returned.
Devin Rice – who records show had stolen mail, bogus checks, credit and debit cards and stolen cars – and others were indicted in Ohio federal court this summer.
Jaylen Harris, Lavelle Jones and Hakim Benjamin are charged with conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen vehicles. Rice, Harris and Jones also are charged with mail theft.
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Law enforcement says added security measures have included concrete barriers and parking boots.
Even vehicles that were recovered can’t be sold for their initial price.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.