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Ford Chicago Assembly Plant workers say their cars are being vandalized, stolen in parking lot

Several cars stolen, vandalized in parking lots at Chicago Ford Assembly Plant
Several cars stolen, vandalized in parking lots at Chicago Ford Assembly Plant 02:12

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Workers at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant are fed up with their cars having been vandalized and stolen while they're at work – and they have now asked for more security.

Union leaders claim at least 50 workers have been affected in the last year and a half – with a car theft at the plant at 12600 S. Torrence Ave. just this past weekend.

The employees' cars at the plant are fenced, but they are not secured.

"There was a rash of [vandalism] – out of nowhere," said Jason Wachowski, vice president of UAW Local 551.

Ford workers have shared photos of damage to cars following thefts. Union leaders said the vandalism is not the only problem.

Supplied to CBS 2

"People are getting their windows smashed in - everything taken out," Wachowski said. "Other people come out, and their car is completely gone."

CBS 2 checked out every parking lot where they said they were having problems. Security was seen at a few of the parking lots, but the lots are wide open.

As for gated lots, Wachowski said, "That's all reserved for your higher-end management."

CBS 2 is told the victims are too scared to speak out. CBS 2 is also told there are dozens of such victims.

So CBS 2 looked closer. From September 2022 when workers say the rash of crimes started, through Feb. 10 of this year, there have been 30 police reports associated with the Ford Plant's address.

This includes 12 auto thefts or attempted thefts, eight reports of criminal damage to a vehicle, five reports of theft over $500, five more of theft $500 and under.

"We want a game plan, and we want action," said Wachowski. "That's all there is to it."

Dozens of car stolen, vandalized outside Ford Chicago Assembly Plant 02:01

So what is being done about this? CBS 2 brought all these data and complaints to Ford directly.

Ford released this statement:

"The safety and security of our employees is a top priority. We have already enhanced security in our employee lots with added personnel and support from the Chicago Police. We are also implementing additional safety measures by adding secure access to employee lots and improving lighting and cameras."

When asked what was meant by "adding secure access to employee lots," a Ford spokesperson added, "Gated badge access is what was confirmed to me."

"We do have a grievance filed with the company to make everybody whole; to remedy this situation of trying to figure out what we could do about keeping unwanted visitors into our parking lot," said Wachowski.

Chicago Police said there was no theft report for the car. CBS 2 was told was stolen from the assembly plant parking lot this past weekend.

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