NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Hermitage couple has been victimized in a complex auto theft that began at the Nashville International Airport and involves Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
It happened last week when a young man reportedly rented a Chevrolet Suburban from Enterprise and then sold it to a Lafayette, Tennessee, man for $30,000 in cash.
According to the Nashville airport police, the case came to light on March 15 after Kyle Whitlow answered an ad on Craigslist to buy the Suburban.
According to the police report, the 28-year-old met the sellers at the McDonald’s on McGavock Pike near Lebanon Road in Nashville.
Police say when Whitlow provided the money for the SUV, he became suspicious when the seller, identified as a young black male, did not count all of the money and jumped in a dark grey Dodge Charger.
When Whitlow returned home in Lafayette with the Suburban and tried to title it in his name, he discovered the car actually belonged to EAN Holdings LLC, the company behind Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
When police seized the SUV, they discovered the license plate on the Suburban was actually registered to a 1998 Toyota Camry. The report indicates the license tag should have been from Illinois.
Airport police officer Scott Harding traced the license tag to the Hermitage apartment of Joshua and Kristin Yarbrough. He immediately noticed that their car was missing a rear license plate.
Holding her 2-year-old son, the young mother said she had no idea until the police arrived.
“We didn’t know right away. We were like, ‘Ohhh, we’ve been driving around without a license plate.’ I was a little concerned,” Kristin Yarbrough told News 2.
According to airport police, it all began Monday, March 14 when 22-year-old Kaleb Louis and 20-year-old Maurice Lewis arrived at the Nashville airport.
According to investigators, one of them rented the suburban that night at 9:27 p.m. He used a California driver’s license, which turned out to be fake, and had a South Carolina residence.
It also turns out the credit card the vehicle was rented with was also stolen from a man in Houston.
Using airport surveillance, detectives tracked the young men from the rental counter to Southwest Airlines Gate 20. There, they learned the men had flown in from Panama City, Florida, a flight that originated in Houston, Texas.
According to authorities, the duo reportedly flew back to Texas, where both have criminal histories, after selling the car on March 15.
News 2 contacted Whitlow, the man who purchased the Suburban, who said he’s still out the $30,000.
“It’s enough to make you sick,” he said, noting the title they showed him looked authentic.
No one from Enterprise’s corporate officers returned News 2’s calls.
The two alleged car thieves are still at large. Whether they acted alone is not known at this time.