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Hertz customers claim they were arrested, some jailed and even held at gunpoint after false theft reports

More false arrest claims filed against Hertz
Claims are mounting against Hertz from customers who say they were wrongfully arrested for rental car theft. 06:11

More people have come forward to claim they were accused, arrested or even jailed after Hertz reported cars they had legitimately rented were stolen.  

Carrie Gibbs was arrested at a California gas station in 2019 after Hertz told police she'd stolen the truck. 
The truck had been rented for her from Hertz by an insurance company after an accident, but video obtained exclusively by CBS News shows police arresting her.  They took her to jail, and she was charged with felony car theft.   

The case was later dismissed but Gibbs said in court papers she lost her real estate license for a year. 

"I've been a real estate agent for 18 years. So this is the most frustrating thing ever," Gibbs told CBS News' consumer investigative correspondent Anna Werner. 

A NASA employee claims he was also targeted after Hertz reported his vehicle stolen. In court papers, he said he was driving a rented Hertz SUV when Florida police officers held him at gun point after Hertz filed a theft report two days earlier, claiming the vehicle NASA had rented was stolen. CBS News obtained video of the arrest. 

He was later released and not charged and has also filed a claim against the rental company.  

Another claimant, Florida banker Manuel Garcia, said he watched as his Hertz rental car was towed away while he was at a restaurant after it was also reported it stolen — even though he said he had been leasing the car for months. 

"Never in my life would I imagine that I would be in a situation like this," Garcia said.  

Carmen Bosko rented a car from a Florida Hertz location in January and said she returned it in April. But in August, officers in Georgia arrested her for car theft. Bosko spent 40 days in jail and was separated from her three children including her two-month-old baby.  

"I had to explain to my kids why I was gone for 40 days. And I missed time with my youngest that I'll never get back," she said.   

Steven Robinson told CBS News he never even rented a car from Hertz. But in June, police arrested him for car theft. He spent two days in jail and is now being prosecuted on felony charges.  

"I mean, this was the worst experience ever in my life. And I can't believe that Hertz and it was a good slogan I heard, but Hertz really hurts people. Their negligent practices is like, it's terrible," said Robinson.  

Another person, Rejeana Meado, said she rented a Hertz car for three days in May to attend a wedding in Houston with her husband. She claims she returned it on time.    

But last week, Hertz sent her this email saying they have now reported the car stolen, meaning she could face charges and now lives in fear she will be arrested.  

"I have a husband. I have kids. It's terrible. Sorry... My doorbell rings and I am fearful that it is the cops coming to get me," Meado said.  

Hertz declined to comment for this story but has previously said the "vast majority" of cases "involve renters who were many weeks or even months overdue returning vehicles and who stopped communicating with (Hertz) well beyond the scheduled due date."

There are now 191 claims filed in federal bankruptcy court on behalf of people who say they were falsely arrested.  

As CBS News has previously reported, the Delaware bankruptcy court judge is currently considering how many of those claims can move forward.  Attorney Francis Alexander Malofiy said since CBS News' report first aired, more people are coming forward.

"People think that they're an isolated incident and they don't realize that this is a systemic issue that's happening across the nation," Malofiy said.  

Hertz disputes that, saying "situations where vehicles are reported to the authorities are very rare." 

Fritz Jekel filed a similar case in 2019 and at the time asked Hertz whether there were any other lawsuits for false arrests and similar claims. He said he got back a database, containing over 300 claims filed, going all the way back to 2008-2016. 

CBS News was not able to view the database because Hertz has marked it confidential. Hertz did not answer our questions about that database.  

In a previous statement, Hertz said it "cares deeply about our customers, and we successfully provide rental vehicles for tens of millions of travelers each year." 

Hertz Statement: (November 2, 2021)

Hertz cares deeply about our customers, and we successfully provide rental vehicles for tens of millions of travelers each year. Unfortunately, in the legal matters being discussed, the attorneys have a track record of making baseless claims that blatantly misrepresent the facts. The vast majority of these cases involve renters who were many weeks or even months overdue returning vehicles and who stopped communicating with us well beyond the scheduled due date. Situations where vehicles are reported to the authorities are very rare and happen only after exhaustive attempts to reach the customer.

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