Charges dropped against woman accused of stealing rental car

Houston – The KPRC 2 Investigates team has been reporting for months about rental car customers in Houston saying that they’ve rented cars from a popular rental car retailer, and for various reasons, the car is reported stolen and, in some cases, the customers are arrested.

Last month, we reported that the Harris County District Attorney’s Office dropped the case against Zanders Pace, who had an auto theft arrest warrant for two years stemming from a rental with Hertz.

RELATED: See the Evidence: Hertz Case Dismissed

Larin Christensen said she was arrested after renting a car in Houston from the Avis Budget Group. She also was accused of theft.

“I ended up spending about two months in jail, a little over two months,” Christensen said.

Christensen said Budget was not helpful in trying to fix the problem when she finally bonded out.

“You know, it’s been really difficult dealing with them. I just, I don’t know, they, you know, every time I would call them to try to get this resolved, I would get transferred to different departments. And then, you know, either the phone line was down, or that department didn’t know, you know, how to help me,” Christensen said.

KPRC 2 Investigates reached out to the DA’s office. On Friday, the DA’s office dropped her case as well.

CASE DISMISSED

The probable cause document was filed in March 2021 in Christensen’s theft case. The document indicates that Budget mailed out a demand letter to Christensen on Nov. 12, 2020. A warrant was then issued for her arrest.

Probable cause document filed in Larin Christensen's theft case. The document indicates that Budget mailed out a demand letter to Christensen on November 12, 2020. However a text message from Budget confirms the car was checked in on November 11, 2020.

CONFIRMATION TEXT MESSAGE

However, a text message from Budget confirms the car was checked in on Nov. 11, 2020.

Confirmation text message from Budget that vehicle was successfully checked in.

According to the prosecutor, the case was dismissed because the charges were filed after the vehicle was returned.

Harris County DA's office dismisses charge against woman accused of stealing Budget-Avis group rental car. KPRC2 Investigates learned the charge was filed after the rental car was already returned.

KPRC 2 Investigates reached out to Avis Budget Group for a comment. A representative replied saying, “Budget is investigating.”

“I’ve been a longtime customer of theirs. I’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars with them. And I was pretty, you know, upset that that’s how I got treated,” Christensen said.

HARRIS COUNTY ATTORNEY GETTING INVOLVED

Last month, we exposed this problem involving Hertz.

The Harris County Attorney’s office is now exploring options on how to proceed with those cases.

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