A shortage of tire sensors that shut down a production line in the Ford Ohio Assembly Plant has led to the arrest of an ex-employee who allegedly stole $500,000 in parts from the plant and sold them at a deep discount on eBay.
Detectives in Avon Lake, Ohio, told the Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle-Telegram last week that the employee, Joseph Jankulovich, stole thousands of the sensors from the plant, as well as an unspecified number of Snap-On tools, over a one-year period beginning in October 2012.
Ford plant officials got wind of the thefts and approached police sometime after the plant unexpectedly ran out of the tire sensors in September 2013, temporarily stopping line production.
Jankulovich was indicted last Friday.
Detectives said Ford was missing about 8,000 of the sensors, valued at more than $500,000. The parts were being sold internationally on eBay in sets of four, at a fraction of their cost. More than 5,000 were sold by the time the investigation began in November 2013.
Each tire sensor had a lot number linking it to the Ohio Assembly Plant. No word yet on whether the Snap-On tools were stolen from the plant as well.
In 2013, the plant produced the now-discontinued Econoline van. It now produces the F-650 and 750 medium-duty trucks.