Stolen Ford F-150 crime ring busted with help from the neighborhood

- Thieves may have planned to strip shiny new Ford pickup trucks but police got there too soon.

Several brand new Ford F-150 trucks are towed away on Detroit's west side Friday after Detroit police with the help of neighbors, discover them stolen.

"It's clear the cars were probably taken from a place where the manufacturer stores vehicles," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Friday morning Detroit police say a neighbor noticed the new trucks near Puritan and Murray Hill and the neighbor quickly called 911.

"I observed the individuals lying underneath the Ford F-150 Raptor," said Officer Jason Tonti. "Which is one of Ford's top model pickup trucks."

Watching closely, police say the men appeared to be trying to remove the wheels from the expensive truck, and noticed another truck inside a garage with the wheels off. Police then contacted their auto theft unit as a neighbor let cops know how the thieves got there.

"The vehicle parked in the street was driven to that location by the 2 perpetrators," Tonti said.

While later conducting a traffic stop on that vehicle, police were able to arrest one thief. And auto theft detectives not long after, were able to recover five F-150s. They were so new; the wrapping was still on them.

"Ford is doing an internal audit at this point to find out where they came from and if there is possibly more," Sgt. Robert Wellman.

Now, with at least one guy in custody, police have those neighbors to thank.

"This is a great example of community and police working together to solve a pretty significant crime," Craig said.

While Detroit police don't believe the thief has any direct connection to Ford -- they believe there may be more people involved and this investigation is far from  over.

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