Police are questioning more than a dozen people over the theft of 100 high-end vehicles in Chicago after a car sharing company reported that some of its fleet was stolen using its mobile app, forcing it to temporarily shut down the service in the city.
The Chicago Police Department said in a statement Wednesday that the car sharing company, car2go or SHARE NOW, alerted authorities that its vehicles may have been taken through “deceptive” practices through the company’s app.
“Due to the information provided by the company, numerous vehicles have been recovered and persons of interest are being questioned,” the statement said. “The Chicago Police Department is working with the company to determine whether there [are] any other vehicles whose locations cannot be accounted for.”
CBS Chicago reported that many of the vehicles were allegedly used to commit other crimes. Police did not provide any details about how the vehicles were used but said the investigation is ongoing.
Kendell Kelton, a spokesperson for SHARE NOW, told BuzzFeed News no customers’ personal information had been compromised and that the incident was isolated to Chicago.
“This is an instance of fraud, isolated to Chicago, and we are currently working with law enforcement,” Kelton said in an email.
Out of an abundance of caution, the company said it was temporarily suspending its Chicago service.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 100 vehicles, including at least 50 Mercedes-Benz cars that are believed to still be in the Chicago area, were unaccounted for, police said. More than a dozen persons of interest were being questioned.
According to its website, car2go manages a fleet of about 14,000 Mercedes-Benz and smart vehicles in more than 20 cities in North America, Europe, and Asia. It recently joined forces with the BMW car sharing service DriveNow to become SHARE NOW.
Tanya Chen contributed reporting to this story.