- Car-sharing app Car2Go has been temporarily shut down in Chicago while an investigation into theft of some 100 of its vehicles is pursued.
- Over 100 Mercedes-Benz and Smart brand vehicles have been stolen using the app, and some reportedly were used to commit other crimes.
- According to local CBS TV affiliate, at least 12 suspects are in custody, but the investigation is ongoing.
The car-sharing service Car2Go has halted all activity in Chicago after it was discovered that thieves abused the platform to steal more than 100 high-end vehicles, some of which were then used to commit other crimes. Half of the missing vehicles are Mercedes-Benz models such as the CLA-class sedan and the GLA-class subcompact SUV, while others include the tiny Smart Fortwo city car.
Despite earlier reports that the app was hacked, Car2Go explained in a statement that the app is secure and said the company is treating the issue as a fraud case. An investigation is still ongoing, but according to Chicago CBS reporter Brad Edwards, so far at least 12 suspects are in custody. There's been no word yet on how many of the vehicles have been recovered.
Breaking: “Car 2 Go” app “hacked” in Chicago. As many as 100 Mercedes / high-end cars missing / stolen. Many being used to commit crimes. > 12 people in custody so far. Per sources. Developing. @cbschicago- Brad Edwards (@tvbrad) April 17, 2019
Car2Go is a subsidiary of Daimler-Benz, the parent company of both Mercedes-Benz and Smart, and was launched in Germany in 2008. It also uses the name Share Now. The quick car-rental app made its debut in Chicago in July 2018 and according to the most recent data offered a fleet as large as 400 vehicles throughout the metropolitan area. Other similar services, such as General Motors' Maven and ZipCar, are also offered in the Chicago area but haven't reported any such theft or fraud issues.
We are working with law enforcement to neutralize a fraud issue. No personal or confidential member information has been compromised. As a precaution, we are temporarily pausing our Chicago service. We will provide updates as soon as possible. Apologies for the inconvenience.- car2go Chicago joins SHARE NOW (@car2goChicago) April 17, 2019
Car2Go/ShareNow's Chicago operation tweeted this morning that “The app was not hacked. This is an instance of fraud, isolated to Chicago.” The company said it is working with police to resolve the issue and assured that no users' personal information has been compromised as part of the theft.
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