Jun 2, 2014
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Criminals are known to drive rental cars when committing crimes as a way to elude police.

What they might not know is that their rental car could very well have come from the same lot as the undercover police car that was used to bust them.

The Richmond Police Department regularly rents vehicles it uses for undercover narcotics and special investigations operations from Enterprise Holdings Inc., which operates the Alamo, National and Enterprise brands.

We know this because Police Chief Chris Magnus is scheduled to ask the Richmond Finance Committee on Friday to continue funding the car rental contract for undercover officers. The contract would cost no more than $173,000 for the fiscal year starting July 1.

“The Richmond Police Department’s Special Investigation Section operations are in constant need of various types of vehicles for its daily undercover work,” Magnus said in city documents. “In these types of operations, the anonymity of the vehicles as to its operators or owners is of paramount importance if the officers that use them are to be protected from the inherent risks or dangers that come with undercover work and surveillance.”

Magnus went on to say there is a need for a “wide variety of vehicles of different makes, brands and models.”

The criminals might not get as good a deal on the rentals. RPD has been approved to receive the rate provided by an amended agreement between the state of California and Enterprise Holdings.

RPD’s contract would offer “unlimited mileage and vehicle exchange, no cost maintenance/service and a $250,000 no fault insurance policy,” according to city documents.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.