Hey criminals, need a getaway vehicle? There's an app for that... Car share tool halts ops amid crime wave, arrests

You wouldn't download a car – oh actually...

The maker of a car-hire smartphone app has temporarily halted its service in Chicago after dozens of its vehicles were stolen.

The software biz, Car 2 Go, confirmed on Wednesday it is working with the cops after some of its cars went missing and, in some cases, were used in connection with other crimes.

The Car 2 Go service lets customers set up an account through their payment cards and, via a mobile app, rent by the hour Smart cars and Mercedes Benz's that are scattered throughout the US city. At least, it did before a recent rash of thefts and crimes broke out.

According to telly journo Brad Edwards, a dozen people have been cuffed in connection with the crime spree.

Parent company Share Now has objected to news reporters' use of the term "hacked" in this case, noting to The Register that no corporate or customer data was snatched, and that its app was not compromised nor subverted. This should be good news to customers of the service nervous that their data might have been nicked.

Rather, it seems that criminals have been using, most likely, stolen payment card details to set up accounts and rent the cars. Once inside the rides, the crooks either disappeared with the motors or used them as disposable getaway vehicles when committing other crimes.

"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. Due to the information provided by the company, numerous vehicle have been recovered and persons of interest are being questioned," the plod said, in a statement provided by Share Now.

"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."

Share Now said no other cities should be affected by this. ®

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