It’s Called “Stealing”

Woman charged with keeping rental car for over year

A 52-year-old Monroe County woman who allegedly kept a rental car for more than a year was arrested Wednesday, according to court records.

Leslie Lindsay, of Stroudsburg, had rented the car on Dec. 30, 2011 from Budget Rent-a-Car, 2443 Lehigh St., and was expected to return it three days later, according to court records. The car was never returned to the Lehigh Street location or any other Budget Rent-a-Car locations.

On Feb. 13, 2012, the rental car company sent Lindsay a certified letter demanding the car be returned, but it came back undeliverable, according to court records.

Charged with ‘keeping’ a rental car? She had the vehicle nearly 8 months before it was reported stolen, and that’s six months after the rental company’s demand letter was returned undeliverable.

The ubiquity of rental cars are one of the great advances of human civilization. Think about it for a moment: you sign your name (and if you’re a member of a rental car company’s membership program, not even that) and you are given the keys to a vehicle that costs usually $20,000 or more. No questions asked. That’s a real hallmark of trust in markets and highly developed institutions.

Of course it only works when you bring the car back

(HT: sobore on Milepoint)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Budget has a lousy computer system. I rent from Budget about 40 times a year. The agent always say the record showed you never return a rental car at Midway Chicago air port 15 years ago. They have to call and get an OK to rent a car to me. I tried to clear this up for years.

  2. “..Advances of human civilization..” What??? The real shock is that it took the that long to recover the car. You will think that a company like Budget will be pros in that kind of situation.

  3. Hertz thought I had one of their cars for over a month. Turns out someone drove off the lot with a reservation I never used. Since I’m gold, they are supposed to check the license at the gate. Apparently that didn’t happen. It took awhile to get sorted out, but eventually they dropped the huge charge on my credit card. I had the same reaction as Nic, when this happened to me: how the hell did it take a month for them to charge me for the first time on a rental that was supposed to only be for the afternoon?

  4. They should just her the late fee. I noticed the couple rentals I had with Budget showed a late fee when I returned the car a day or two later then the reservation. I never had that happen before! When did car rentals start charging late fees?

  5. Enterprise once gave someone a rental in my name…luckily the person didn’t steal it or damage it.

    It’s odd, on the one hand the case of the company not taking action on a stolen car for months, then on the other hand people getting billed for not returning a car when they actually had. Well, not odd, but ridiculous.

  6. It’s happened twice (two diff companies) that I’ve rented out a car and upon return they cannot close it because it wasn’t checked out properly. I got the weekend rentals for free. Darn it. If only I knew … 🙂

  7. I have also had rentals that when I returned them they had no idea I had a rental car because it was not checked out correctly. I used to rent every week and had it happen a couple of times per year.

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