Man Accused Of Stealing Hertz Rental Car Arrested While Departing Cruise Ship Vacation

The Hertz President's Club member says he paid for an extension on the rental in question, and the tow just a year prior to the arrest

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Image: Steven Senne (AP)

Getting arrested for something you didn’t do, while on vacation, has to be bullshit of the highest order. But it happened to a New Hampshire man last week, when rental company Hertz had him arrested for allegedly stealing a rental, CBS News reports. The arrest happens just days after a federal judge ordered the company to make their rental theft records public.

Charles Doucette was arrested February 11 as the cruise ship he was vacationing on returned to port in Florida. Both ship security and Customs and Border agents came into the cabin Doucette was staying in with his girlfriend, and arrested him. He now finds himself in Florida’s Brevard County Jail, and is now one of the hundreds of people claiming Hertz had them arrested for something they say they didn’t do: stealing one of the company’s rentals.

According to Doucette , he’s a Hertz President’s Club member, which is no small feat. If you’re unaware, to obtain this status as a Hertz renter, one has to have $3,000 in rentals or 15 annual rentals. This was lowered from $4,000 and 20 rentals due to the pandemic. Doucette says he spent over $15,000 on rentals between 2020 and 2021.

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The rental in question and reason for his arrest, was a business rental from last year. Doucette had it for a long period, and claims he properly extended it. But Hertz still tracked him down and had police tow the vehicle:

Doucette says he had rented a car from Hertz for his business last year, and properly extended the rental several times. But in March, police in Arizona stopped him and told him Hertz had filed a police report saying his rental car had been stolen. They towed the car, but Doucette says afterwards, Hertz charged his credit card the full amount for the rental.

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Even after having the car towed and charging his card for the total amount, prosecutors in Arizona, acting on info they obtained from the police report, indicted him. Given that he lives on the other side of the country, Doucette hired an Arizona attorney and sent documents so that he wouldn’t have to appear.

CBS says whatever happened in court may have led to his arrest coming back from vacation. But for now, Doucette is sitting in jail wondering why he’s there. His attorney claims Hertz isn’t making an effort to correct things:

Hertz refuses to correct a police report when they’ve learned payments [were] made, when they’ve learned the car’s been returned or when they’ve learned there’s inaccuracies,” he said.

Malofiy sent a letter to the company over the weekend, asking Hertz to help get Doucette out of jail. He said unless something changes, Doucette will be in jail for a minimum of 10 days because he is awaiting extradition to Arizona.

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So far, Hertz has declined to comment on Doucette’s case.