Stolen Infiniti QX80

The AutoSlash team continues to celebrate Thanksgiving with the second installment in our Thankful We're Not ... series by taking a quick trip to Spokane, Washington, where some vehicle prowlers decided to "blend in" by using the most conspicuous rental SUV imaginable. After all, strategic implementation is often a point of failure in planned criminal behavior and the Washington State Patrol provides a recent entry to the anthology of amusing stories of rental car consumers who choose to violate the law until caught in humiliating fashion.

Scene: Spokane, Washington

Two enterprising individuals decided to rent a vehicle near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport so they could be inconspicuous while breaking into vehicles in Spokane, Washington, almost 300 miles away. The official crime for breaking into cars in the State of Washington is "Vehicle prowling in the second degree". It's a gross misdemeanor the first two times a criminal is convicted and a class C felony the third time (or subsequent time) a criminal is convicted. However, going on a crime spree in the same day only counts as a single charge, as the folks in our story were attempting. Yet the renters picked a car that stands out in almost every setting -- the most expensive vehicle built by Infiniti.

This is Infiniti's stock image of the vehicle the criminals used to "blend in".

Our friends at KHQ Spokane have the full story, and for a casual or semi-interested observer, there are many aspects of note.

  • An Infiniti QX80 stands out in almost every setting. The SUV is 76 inches tall, and it's elevated even for tall individuals (I'm 6'2" and had to climb up at a recent auto show).
  • If the people driving the rental QX80 are breaking into cars, the most valuable item they intended to steal was the QX80 itself. 
  • Doubt that last statement? When's the last time you took your rental car to a carwash and vacuum?
  • Your personal insurance and credit card CDW would most likely exclude coverage for a vehicle that starts at $64k in the base trim.
  • It's not smart to steal anything. It's really unwise to steal things that are easily geolocated (namely, vehicles and phones).

But the single most amusing part of the news report? A reporter in a second-tier market breaking off the expression "ridin' dirty". 

"They done caught me ridin' dirty."

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