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Ausby Car Rentals - DFW Car Rental News 05/22/2012




DALLAS - A California man with North Texas ties is behind bars for drug possession. He was also in a downtown Dallas hotel room that appeared to be the center of an extensive identity theft operation. On Monday Dallas police arrested 26-year-old Justin Bennett. His last known address is in Los Angeles but records show he used to live in Rockwall. For now Bennett is charged with the possession of marijuana and meth. But inside his hotel room at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas police found 400 to 500 credit cards, debit cards, gift cards and social security numbers. There was evidence of personal information involving a federal agency lifted from registration forms from a conference hosted by a North Texas hotel and real estate applications for homes in Sachse, Rowlett and Rockwall. Police also confiscated three laptops, a printer and a credit card embossing machine. Sources said whoever is behind the identity theft operation appears to be taking existing credit card numbers and putting different names on them. It would never have been discovered except for a clever car rental company. On Sunday the rental company out of Oklahoma rented a white SUV from its satellite office near the airport to a man who paid $2200 for two weeks. He used a credit card. A day later the rental company got a call from a man demanding to know why his credit card was charged. And the company realized the man on the phone had a different name than the name on the card. "If he had chose a different rental company he would still be out there," said Marcus Jones with Ausby Car Rentals. "I knew it was big as soon as we verified the actual card he used and the name. And we scanned it. We scanned the actual card and we have video prints of everything. And when I looked at that and heard the name of the guy that actually called and it was totally different people I knew it was very fraudulent and very high tech." Police were able to trace the SUV to the hotel room Bennett was staying in. They are still trying to determine if he had a role in the operation and who else might be involved. Adding to the intrigue, the owner of the rental company said bank statements and a ledger showing money transfers from one account to another were found in the vehicle after it was recovered. The dates go back to 2010.

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