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16 arrested in theft of up to 100 Car2Go ridesharing vehicles in Chicago

The concept behind Car2Go is to enable people to share vehicles that can get them from place to place without requiring those people to actually own cars. This, however, is probably not what the company had in mind: As many as 100 Car2Go vehicles in Chicago were stolen, and 16 people were arrested for their alleged involvement in a scheme to hijack the cars.

The thefts were first reported to the Chicago Police Department earlier this week and an investigation into the issue was launched. At first, it was thought that it may have been a hack that enabled thieves to make off with 100 Car2Go vehicles without being detected. Police said the company’s mobile app was somehow involved in the scheme, leading some to believe that it was hacked or manipulated in some way. However, Car2Go quickly shot down that idea.

“Clarification: We were not hacked,” the company wrote on Twitter. “This is an instance of fraud, isolated to Chicago, and we are currently working with law enforcement. None of our member’s personal or confidential information has been compromised. No other Share Now North American market has been affected.”

The company told Motherboard that no personal or confidential information belonging to users was compromised. In response to the issue, Car2Go temporarily paused its services in the Chicago area while the issue was sorted out.

“The Chicago Police Department was alerted by a car rental company that some of their vehicles may have been rented by deceptive or fraudulent means through a mobile app,” said in a statement. “Due to the information provided by the company, numerous vehicle have been recovered and persons of interest are being questions. The Chicago Police Department is working with the company to determine whether there are any other vehicles whose locations cannot be accounted for. At this time the recoveries appear to be isolated to the West Side. The investigation is ongoing.”

Chicago police recovered several of the cars there were stolen and started questioning people of interest about the thefts on Wednesday, April 17. As of Thursday, there are 16 people in custody for their alleged roles in the scheme to steal Car2Go vehicles. Police are still working to recover all of the stolen vehicles, which do have GPS trackers on board.

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