Scam artists are renting high-end vehicles from luxury auto rental companies with the intent to never return them, KHOU (Houston) reports.
In January, a young woman from Georgia and two male companions rented an Escalade worth $75,000 from Premier Exotic Auto in Houston. Hours later, the 22-year-old woman told Houston police she was carjacked at gunpoint on the Southwest Freeway at 4:00 a.m.
Police quickly reported the theft to the rental company, which used On-Star to locate the vehicle in Mexico City five hours after it was allegedly stolen in Houston. The group apparently had filed a false police report.
Auto theft investigators say that stealing high-dollar vehicles from rental companies is a growing trend. They think most are insurance fraud, but the cases are often difficult to prove, according to KHOU.