In Polk County, Florida, an unusual case unfolded involving an Uber driver, a stolen rental car, and a persistent engine left running for three weeks. Elijah Mills, a 27-year-old Florida resident, found himself under the spotlight of law enforcement after an unconventional attempt to avoid car rental payments.
On a Tuesday evening, Mills was transporting a couple from the United Kingdom, who were soon to be married, when deputies pulled over his vehicle, a Chevy Equinox, on US 27 in Davenport's Four Corners area. What seemed like a routine Uber ride took a dramatic turn when it was revealed that the vehicle Mills was driving was reported stolen by the rental company from which he had acquired it.
Mills had initially rented the car from a company in Orlando but ceased making payments. In response, the company listed the vehicle as stolen. To circumvent the company's measures against non-payment, which included a device preventing the car from restarting, Mills resorted to an unusual tactic. He kept the car running non-stop for an impressive three weeks, thereby avoiding the device's implications.
However, his strategy came to an abrupt end when authorities caught up with him. Mills was arrested and charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle and driving with a suspended or revoked license, adding to the gravity of the situation since he lacked a valid license to operate as an Uber driver.
The incident concluded with a touch of goodwill from the deputies, who took a photo with the soon-to-be-wed couple and ensured they reached their destination safely. Meanwhile, Mills' unconventional approach to avoiding rental payments leaves a curious case study in the annals of car rental fraud.
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