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Car Rental Company Hertz Wrongly Accused a Marine Veteran and Got Him Jailed

Blake Gober is a veteran Marine who was recently made to spend five days in jail for an offence he was wrongly convicted of. Gober’s history of incarceration is thanks to none other than Hertz, the car rental company. 

Despite being a political consultant, Gober was arrested, tried, and convicted before Hertz realized they got the wrong guy. 

How Renting a Car Could Get a Person Behind Bars

It turns out that Gober’s 5-day incarceration all stemmed from Hertz reporting a car rented by the veteran as stolen. 

Before long, an arrest warrant was issued and Gober was picked up in Louisville, Kentucky. Being a law-abiding citizen, he did not resist arrest and eventually got arraigned in court. 

It All Started in 2019

After investigating the transaction that transpired between Gober and Hertz, it was discovered that the legal tussle snowballed from events that occurred in 2019.

Gober was said to have rented a car, a Nissan Versa, and Hertz claimed the car was never returned. This all transpired in West Virginia, and to get even, the car rental company reported the car as stolen. 

Hertz’s Quirky Validation System

The twist in the story is that Gober insists that he returned the car after using it for three months. 

Anyone who has used the Hertz rental service knows that they run checks on their vehicles that have just been returned. This helps them unravel whatever damages the user might have inflicted on the vehicle during the rental period. 

Eating Your Cake and Wanting It

Probably due to a lack of synergy, or errors, in their lease and return database, Hertz did not realise Gober had actually returned the Nissan Versa. 

Hertz gave another excuse for reporting the car as missing. They claimed that Gober was unreachable on all attempts to remind him of the need to return the rented car. What remains unclear is whether Gober supplied the wrong contact details. 

At the Fringes of 12 Correctional Years

After Gober’s arrest, he was charged to court for theft of a rental vehicle, but the car model was not specified. He was also indicted for attempting to commit grand larceny. 

Gober could have bagged as much as 12 years in prison if he had been found guilty of the two charges. 

A Gapping Crack in the Wall

Gober would have stayed long in prison, but for one tiny detail that didn’t add up in Hertz’s report of a missing car. 

The report submitted to law enforcement describes a Nissan Sentra as the stolen car. Wes Prince, Gober’s attorney, turned the case downside up when he noticed and called out this inconsistency. 

Hertz Presents an Unacceptable Alibi

Remember that Gober never rented a Nissan Sentra, and when he returned the car, he correctly logged in a Nissan Versa. 

In a bid to save face, Hertz’s counsel suggested that the error must have been a typo from the police. However, Prince pushed the case further by insisting that the police did not submit the missing-car report to itself. 

Hertz Cries Wolf Often

Some background checks by Prince revealed that Gober’s case is not a peculiar one.

It was, in fact, discovered that Hertz has had multiple cases of stolen vehicles, which turned out to be a false call. In cases similar to Gober’s, some of the victims of the false claims spent time in jail. 

A Business Quite Familiar with Litigations

For example, last year alone, an upward of 100 customers sued Hertz for falsely indicting them for car theft. 

One case that stood out during that period was that of Julius Burnside, who cooled off in jail for seven good months before court ruled him as innocent of all charges against him. 

Plugging the Litigation Sinkhole

Who knows if there are many others presently serving jail time courtesy of an inability to prove their innocence? Interestingly, sometime last year, Hertz admitted to falsely reporting some of their customers. 

By December 2022, Hertz spent approximately $168 million on damages, for getting their customers arrested on false claims. This further buttresses the point that Gober’s case was an error on Hertz’s part. 

The Marine Veteran Fights Back

Eventually, the West Virginia court hearing Gober’s case set the Marine veteran free after clearing all charges levelled against him. 

However, Gober is not backing down easily. A settlement claim won’t do for him; instead, Gober wants Hertz to issue a public apology and own up to their error. He hopes that will deter them from making false reports that victimises customers in the future. 

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