3 arrested for attempt to steal rental cars at RSW

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

Three men were arrested for trying to steal rental cars at Southwest International Airport.

On Wednesday, Lee County Port Authority Police Department arrested Jarious Gardner, 23, Patrick Silfrain, 37, and Miclaude Petion, 23, for their roles in an attempt to steal rental cars at the airport.

“History has shown that these types of cases they are typically a part of a larger scheme,” Chief Shawn Chamberlain said.

Police told us thieves love targeting rental car agencies at airports for many reasons, one of them being they almost never close.

A plot to steal a rental car at RSW was stopped before the would-be thieves made it out of the parking lot.

Captain Michael Turner with the port authority said his guys were on high alert.

“The officers have been receiving lots of intelligence about potential of groups coming in to fraudulently rent cars with the intent of stealing them,” Turner said.

Chamberlain praised the work of his officers and gave credit to the people working the Hertz counter.

“The rental car agencies are familiar with this type of activity,” Chamberlain said. “They know what to look for when they see items that don’t look right or behaviors some of the documents don’t look right then they will call us.”

Police said they stopped Silfrain and Petion in a stolen Jaguar, who both had fake IDs on them. The had to chase down Gardner, who also had a fake ID on him.

Petion and Silfrain both face charges for Fraud (Obtain Vehicle By False Representation) and Counterfeiting of (Falsely Making Credit Card).

Gardner faces charges for Resist Officer (Obstruct Without Violence) and Fraud (False ID Given To Law Enforcement Officer).

Chamberlain is worried this trend will continue to grow because crooks see rental car agencies at airports as near-perfect targets. Chamberlain also said crimes like these are usually part of bigger stings but couldn’t say if the three men arrested are part of a larger criminal organization.

“More inventory available the hours of operation are typically a little bit longer than you would see at other places,” Chamberlain said. “So unfortunately that becomes attractive to criminals as well.”


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