Thieves have stolen 100 cars from the car sharing company Car2Go in Chicago using a “mobile app,” according to the Chicago Police Department.
Car2Go confirmed in a statement to Motherboard that 100 cars were taken and added that the company is working with law enforcement to “neutralize a fraud issue.” The company also clarified that this was not a “hack,” but did not elaborate about how the cars were stolen. Car2Go offers Smart cars and Mercedes Benz vehicles in Chicago. Normally, the cars are unlocked with an app. We don’t yet know whether the thieves found a vulnerability in the app that allowed them to unlock the cars en masse.
“No personal or confidential member information has been compromised. Out of an abundance of caution and safety for our members we are temporarily pausing our Chicago service,” Car2Go’s spokesperson said in the statement.
Got a tip? You can contact this reporter securely on Signal at +1 917 257 1382, OTR chat at email@example.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chicago Police Department said in a statement that the investigation is ongoing and that they are unsure if there are additional cars missing..
“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,” the statement said. “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.”
According to local reporter Brad Edwards, there’s 12 people in custody already.
For now, it’s unknown how the thieves were able to unlock and steal cars, which all have GPS trackers on them, as Car2Go’s spokesperson confirmed.
UPDATE, April 18, 10:30 a.m.: The company that owns Car2Go, SHARE NOW, said on Thursday morning that it's in the process of getting some of the stolen cars back.
"SHARE NOW is actively recovering all of our vehicles and continuing to work closely with The Chicago Police Department as they move forward with their investigation," the company said in a statement.
Listen to CYBER, Motherboard’s new weekly podcast about hacking and cybersecurity.