"Rental cars and drug deals go together like peanut butter and jelly" is one of the common refrains one reads in the AutoSlash blog's #FelonyFriday series. Rental cars are often used for drug trafficking, drug sales, and other illiciit criminal activities. However, we hadn't encountered a story of a drug dealer acquiring a rental vehicle from a drug purchaser (we'll stop short of saying drug user) until a story from New Orleans, Louisiana crossed our feed. The moral of the story is that one probabaly should not place much trust in a drug dealer!
All the towns and people seemed to fade into a bad dream (for the drug purchaser).
According to The Times-Picayune, a 38-year old male in his white 2015 Toyota Corolla rental car with Pennsylvania plates picked up a man named "G" in order to acquire some undisclosed drugs. The male and "G" were in the moving car when "G" declared something along the lines of "he was going to have to jack him (the 38-year old male) and take his vehicle". The 38-year old gave "G" money not once but twice, and "G" still left with the rental car in what the New Orleans Police Department declared to be a "Carjacking - No Weapon".
The victim should have adapted the childhood lesson we all learned -- "don't accept rides from strangers" -- to "don't give rides to (unknown) drug dealers". If you're buying drugs, just buy drugs; you're not offering Lyft or Uber service using a Hertz vehicle! We also would recommend the renter choose a reputable rental car company in the future; while the actual company isn't stated, a 2015 Toyota Corolla (manufactured 2014-2015) still in the fleet in April 2018 is not a sign of quality.
One thing we do know is the renter won't have the option of renting from his previous provider the next time he needs a rental car. The owner of the Corolla that (used to have) Pennsylvania plates JGZ7913 is acutely aware the car was stolen while attempting to engage in criminal behavior, a consistently fast track to a corporation's "Do Not Rent" list. And of course, the victim will also be paying for the residual value of the Corolla if not found in a single piece -- insurance doesn't help a rental when one's attempts at illegal actions contribute to a loss.
Our team's favorite part of the story was a reimagination of how the initial interaction with the NOPD may have gone.
Caller: I was giving a drug dealer a ride before purchasing drugs -- he then carjacked me and took off with my rental car and cash.
NOPD Dispatch: (stunned silence)
At least it is not quite as bad as drug dealers calling 911 to report their drugs had disappeared (Ohio exemplar, Tennessee exemplar) or the Michigan woman who declared the drugs in her rental car were stolen from her spouse.