• Police: "Car-sharing rental vehicles" are being used as getaway cars in thefts

    By: Gary Horcher

    Updated:

    Police in Renton and Bellevue are seeing a new twist in recent cases of package and mail theft, after receiving several reports of thieves using LimePod car-share vehicles as getaway cars.

     

    The latest case happened in Renton on Memorial Day, when a suspected mail thief targeted mailboxes while driving a LimePod car.

     

    Austin Robinson is among the neighbors here with a surveillance system and his cameras recorded the LimePod driving on his Renton street before 7 a.m.

     

    “Sure enough, there was a motion detection of somebody driving a Lime car and hitting our mailboxes,” Robinson told KIRO-7.

     

    Robinson offered his video to Renton police, after they made a report.

     

    According to the Bellevue Police Blotter: “Suspects have been renting Lime Cars to facilitate porch thefts and burglaries in the Northtown area. Several thefts have occurred in the past week.”

     

    The Blotter states that on April 29, an officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the suspect after a reported theft. “The suspect fled at a high rate of speed,” the report stated, adding that the officer terminated the pursuit.  “Officers are identifying persons of interest and the investigation is ongoing,” the Blotter said.

     

    There are 1500 of the free-floating car-sharing LimePod Fiats in Lime's fleet scattered all over Seattle and King County. Drivers pay a $15 fee, and they’re able to unlock a car by scanning a code into their phones for $1. Drivers pay 40 cents per minute to drive the car, with insurance included.

     

    Lime's own website says a driver can't unlock the car with an app and still remain anonymous.

     

    “You’ve got to have a driver's license, you have a credit card on file, they have you on GPS,” Robinson said. The Lime app also requires drivers to photograph the car and upload the photo before ending the trip.

     

    Renton neighbors used the Lime app, hoping locate Lime cars near them.

     

    “Never in a million years did I think people are going to start using these rental cars as a quick getaway,” Robinson said. 

     

    KIRO 7 sent a request for comment to Lime and will publish a response when it is received.

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