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Michigan State Police internal bulletin shows widespread thefts of Fiat Chrysler's hot cars

Fiat Chrysler issues recall for Dodge Chargers
Posted at 5:35 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-20 09:12:16-05

(WXYZ) — An internal Michigan State Police document obtained by 7 Action News spells out how car thieves are targeting FCA's hot vehicles by hacking into the electronics.

The document is labeled “Special Intelligence Bulletin.” We are not going to reveal exactly how this is done.

The bulletin says the vehicles targeted are Dodge Charger, Challenger, Durango, and Jeep Grand Cherokees. The bulletin says hundreds have been stolen over the last two years and “gathering an accurate count… is nearly impossible.”

We have found some of the vehicles have been stolen from the employee parking lot of the FCA Sterling Heights Assembly Plant.

Sandra Tolbert showed us police reports when her son’s car was stolen while he was inside working. His smartphone told him his car was on the move.

“Why can somebody that quickly figure out how within seconds to get in that vehicle, reprogram it and leave?” she asked.

The car was recovered in Detroit and had $17,000 in damage.

Sandra has also worked for FCA for almost 30 years and says SHAP needs better security to keep this from happening again.

Her husband, Dr. Rodney Tolbert showed us how two keys fobs were found with the car he says, “One is the original key, the other is the copy key.”

We have shown you how metro Detroit police have responded to these thefts. Some of them have resulted in high-speed chases.

Dr. Tolbert also says, “It’s just sad that we have to deal with this after we work so hard we are middle-class people we struggle just like everyone else and it’s sad the things we purchase is taken from us.”

Another victim showed us how he’s protecting his new Dodge Charger with a claw lock on a wheel and steering wheel lock. His previous Charger was stolen right before Thanksgiving and recovered in Atlanta, Georgia. He doesn’t want us to tell you his name or where he lives.

He tells 7 Action News, “I was, honestly, just surprised. It’s like how do they do that in less than 30 minutes?”

He’s proud of his new Dodge Charger saying, “These are the only ones that get stolen, the Hellcats and the Scat Packs. You never hear of a V 6 Charger getting stolen.”

State Police are sharing this new intelligence with local departments so they will know the extent of the problem and be on alert.

The second victim tells us, “Honestly, they really can’t do anything about it.”

Michigan State Police would not comment on this Bulletin.

We also reached out to FCA for comment about its vehicles. The company's response is below:

Stellantis vehicles meet or exceed all applicable federal safety standards. While such events are rare, they are not exclusive to any make or model of vehicle. Further, Stellantis uses industry-standard technology. Notwithstanding, we urge all motorists to take due care in securing their vehicles.