The congressman’s bill included more than $20,000 in vehicle damage. But security footage revealed it was an Avis-Budget employee who took the car after it was returned. Two individuals have been charged.  - Photo: mohamed Hassan via Pixabay

The congressman’s bill included more than $20,000 in vehicle damage. But security footage revealed it was an Avis-Budget employee who took the car after it was returned. Two individuals have been charged. 

Photo: mohamed Hassan via Pixabay

Avis Budget Group has issued a statement on an investigation into stolen rental vehicles and a South Carolina lawmaker who received a bill for more than $20,000, according to a report by News 5 WCSC.

After renting a vehicle for a few days in January, Rep. Wendell Gilliard (D-Charleston County) received a bill for more than $20,000 in damage. Gilliard said that he returned the car on time without a scratch, according to the report. When he couldn’t find answers from Avis-Budget officials, Gilliard reached out to the Charleston International Airport and Charleston County Aviation Authority Police.

After looking at security cameras and launching an investigation, airport police discovered that several rental cars had been reported stolen. According to a police report, an Avis-Budget employee was suspected of taking the car without logging it back in after Gilliard returned it. Then the employee caused $20,000 worth of damage to the vehicle.

Domaneck Dixon has been charged with 18 counts of grand larceny (valued at $10,000 or more) and Luther Antonio Smith was charged with five counts of possession of a stolen vehicle, according to jail records.

Avis Budget Group released the following statement: “Avis Budget Group has terminated the employment of the person responsible and is resolving matters directly with customers who have been impacted.”

Gilliard said that he’s working to create a law that makes car rental companies more accountable to protect customers, according to the report.

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