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Over 100 rental cars stolen in Chicago through ‘fraudulent’ use of app

Car2Go CEO Olivier Reppert steps out of a car from the rental program's pilot Chicago fleet at a launch event in Pioneer Court Wednesday, July 25. | Getty Images

An app-based rental car company has suspended service in Chicago after more than 100 vehicles were stolen through misuse of its mobile application.

The company “car2go” announced Wednesday that service in Chicago was temporarily shut down “out of an abundance of caution,” a company spokeswoman said.

“We are working with law enforcement to neutralize a fraud issue,” the company wrote in a tweet. “No personal or confidential member information has been compromised.”

Chicago police said that 100 vehicles are currently unaccounted for, and that 50 vehicles — all of them Mercedes-Benz — remain in the Chicago area.

Police confirmed the cars were stolen through “deceptive or fraudulent means through a mobile app.”

Several vehicles have been recovered, and over a dozen persons of interest are being questioned, police said. Most of the recovered vehicles were found on the West Side.

Police said they were working with the company to locate other stolen vehicles.

In response to reports that the app had been hacked, the company wrote, “The app was not hacked. This is an instance of fraud, isolated to Chicago, and we are currently working with law enforcement…”

Car2go, a subsidiary of Daimler North America, launched in Chicago in 2018 with 400 eco-friendly cars that could rented per minute through a smartphone app.