The City of Detroit loves its Dodge muscle cars. If you spend any time around this town, you are sure to see plenty Dodge Charger and Challengers out and about. Hell, even the Chief of Police drives around in a Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Widebody. That said, it appears that the current crop of Mopar muscle cars might just be a bit too popular in the Motor City and its surrounding metro area. According to a new report from Automotive News, Dodge muscle cars in Southeast Michigan are being stolen at incredible rates.
According to the report from AN, more than 1,000 Dodge Charger muscle cars have been stolen across the Detroit metro area in the past year alone. While most of these thefts have taken place outside of homes or business, some were even taken straight off of dealer lots. Earlier this month, two 2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack 392 models were stolen from LaFontaine Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of Saline, about 45 miles outside of the city. This isn’t the only time that a local dealership has been targeted either. Back in December, a dealership in Sterling Heights was saved from this same fate after a cleaning crew interrupted an attempted robbery. In the weeks that followed, Sterling Heights responded to four high-speed chases in a 10-day period involving stolen Dodge muscle cars, resulting in a bulletin asking owners to lock their cars.
Saline’s Deputy Police Chief Marlene Radzik told The Saline Post that they aren’t sure how these thieves were able to get the Dodge muscle cars started without the keys, which were located inside the dealership. That said, modern ECU systems have allowed high-tech criminals to find ways around pesky keys, which is exactly what prompted automakers to begin encrypting ECUs in the first place. Currently, Dodge does not encrypt the ECUs found in either of their muscle car models. Perhaps then this is part of the problem in Detroit.
While these numbers are staggering in and around Detroit, this issue isn’t exclusive to Motown. In fact, the Highway Loss Data Institute listed Hemi-powered Dodge Chargers and Challenger Hellcat models as the two most stolen vehicles nationwide in 2019. According to the Institute, these cars are targeted at a rate of more than five times the national average. There is clearly a need to address why criminals are able to steal these machines so easily, something you’d expect the Brotherhood of Muscle to be on top of.
If you own a Dodge Charger or Challenger, be mindful of this trend. While owning a Dodge muscle car doesn’t automatically mean you are at risk of getting it stolen, the deck does appear somewhat stacked against you. That is a real shame, because both models are some of the greatest cars to come out of the Motor City in quite some time.