The car-sharing service formerly known as Car2Go on Wednesday temporarily halted rentals after more than 100 of its fleet, including at least 50 Mercedes-Benz vehicles, went missing.
Chicago police said Tuesday night that they have recovered some of the missing cars, but at least 100 vehicles remain unaccounted for. More than a dozen people are being questioned in connection with the incident.
Police said they believe that 50 of the company’s vehicles, all Mercedes-Benz models, remain somewhere in the “Chicago land area.”
In a tweet, Car2Go, which is now known as Share Now, said it was temporarily suspending service in Chicago because of a “fraud” issue. The company emphasized none of its users’ personal data had been compromised and that none of its other markets, including Washington, D.C., have been affected.
“Out of an abundance of caution and safety for our members we are temporarily pausing our Chicago service,” said Kendell Kelton, a company spokeswoman. She declined to elaborate.
The company — which is in 30 cities, including Washington — launched in Chicago last year with a fleet of 400 cars available for rental, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Earlier in the day, Chicago police confirmed they are investigating whether some of the company’s vehicles may have been “rented by deceptive or fraudulent means through a mobile app.”
Share Now is the world’s largest car-sharing company, providing a variety of vehicles — from tiny Smart cars, which seat two, to luxury vehicles from Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
The company bills itself as a practical alternative to car ownership. Users locate their cars via the company’s mobile app and then simply park them when they are done. They do not have to be returned to a specific place. Share Now charges a membership fee, and drivers also pay based on usage.