I once rented a 2001 Mustang Convertible from Hertz in Nebraska. When placing the rental paperwork in the glove box I found a crisp $5 bill, which I promptly exchanged for a Big Mac and fries. That was lucky, but the following story is not.

Mercury News reports that Charles Preston, a doctor in Santa Clara, California, purchased a used 2008 Chrysler Town & Country from a Thrifty rental car office and got much more than his $14,000 paid for.

After about 15 months with the minivan, Preston brought the van to a local shop to get the brakes worked on. The mechanic offered to take a look at why the windows wouldn't roll down, and the solution presented itself in the form of $500,000 in cocaine wrapped in purple cellophane.

Preston, who purchased the van so he could use it to deliver food to local homeless people, immediately contacted the police, who seized the cocaine. The police also told the owner to return the van and have it checked for tracking devices. The concern was that there could be some very unhappy drug dealers tracking their large load of illegal narcotics.

As you could probably guess, Preston was keen to taking the Town & Country drug-mobile back to Thrifty in exchange for a new van, but the local rental car store told him that they would only pay Kelley Blue Book value for the van, or $4,000 less than he paid for it. But once management at Thrifty heard of the potentially dangerous gaffe, they offered to replace the van with a vehicle that wasn't packed with several kilos of coke.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 52 Comments
      Jim
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good for Thrifty for replacing the van.
      r12v56k1234timmy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder why they left the drugs in there, since they brought back the car to Thrifty. Or the cops arrested them in the van and just never found the drugs, but gave the car back to Thrifty
      New Shimmer
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a coincidence, just this week a member of the Indianapolis Colts reported a strange white powder that he'd never seen before. They had the substance analyzed, and it was a goal line.
      Oceanblue78
      • 3 Years Ago
      My question is why Thrifty did not check the vehicle to make sure it was in working order before they sold it. Or do they just run em through the car wash and throw and air freshener in and call it a day? And 4k less then what he had just paid for it. Two discoveries were made that day. Crack, and Thrifty sucks.
        SloopJohnB
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Oceanblue78
        I think you missed the point...the windows probably stopped working 15 months after he bought the car..the coke packages shifted and obstructed the mechanism....THEN he brought it to a mechanic who found the objects blocking the window mechanism.
      P.Z. Dawkins
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bad: Buy a 2008 Town & Country. Worse: It was a rental car. Worst: You paid 4 grand over Blue Book value. Seriously, the cocaine was the BEST thing about this car, and I say that as someone who thinks people who do coke are idiots.
        bman78
        • 3 Years Ago
        @P.Z. Dawkins
        you sir are the idiot. you can buy a used rental car for a lot less then a one owner car. he was using it to deliver food so this wasn't his everyday driver. AND if you READ the article it says that Thrifty offered him the current KBB value on trade. I personally don't like the 2008 Town and Country but that doesn't make it a bad car just one that doesn't fit my lifestyle. if you wanted a good value mini van to deliver food to homeless shelters would you care about the style? to me this sounds like a sensible doctor who needed a car with a lot of space to deliver food to homeless shelters. He should be applauded not ridiculed.
      briang19
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why would a "doctor" need to buy a used minivan from a car rental place? I wonder what kind of doctor he is.
        FHP11
        • 3 Years Ago
        @briang19
        Or... As the article says, He bought it as a vehicle to deliver food to local homeless people, he probably doesnt think his AMG Mercedes is the suitable tool for the task.
        Quen47
        • 3 Years Ago
        @briang19
        This might sound strange, but he probably has a family and doesn't want to spend $35,000 on a new one
        Andre Neves
        • 3 Years Ago
        @briang19
        What a dumb question.
        guyverfanboy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @briang19
        A street pharmacist obviously... ;) Why haven't I heard this?! I live in Santa Clara!
      EB110Americana
      • 3 Years Ago
      "...coming to a boat show near YOU! *Viewable between the tacky above ground fiberglass jacuzzis and the Cheech & Chong van by the funnel cake booth."
      Lachmund
      • 3 Years Ago
      stupid...should have sold it and buy 2 911s for himself and the guy at the shop ;-Ü
        Rampant
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Lachmund
        And get arrested for drug trafficking, brilliant plan!
          Lachmund
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rampant
          damn, some people here don't have humor at all...and btw: i grand you a medal for being a boring sheep!
      IBx27
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wait, this guy had $14,000 and he bought a rental car?
        kevsflanagan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        He bought a Ex-Rental Car. It most likely topped out at say 30k miles and they shipped it off to their car dealer lot right afterward. Depending on how busy the area is the MiniVan was most likely shipped out the following day before the drug dealers realized they left their coke in the car. Have to remember some people are lazy and stupid and foolishly think that most Rental Cars are babied so they think its a good deal.
      Stinkyboy
      • 3 Years Ago
      There is one angry Mom out there somewhere
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        Lachmund
        • 3 Years Ago
        wow...must be the first time this guy got positive ratings! see, doesn't make you feel being no dick once in a while?!
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      "...but the local rental car store told him that they would only pay Kelley Blue Book value for the van, or $4,000 less than he paid for it. But once management at Thrifty heard of the potentially dangerous gaffe, they offered to replace the van" I hope management over at Thrifty also disciplined the morons that were still trying to screw him even further by charging him book value. Idiots.
        kevsflanagan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves
        You'd think with the potential for legit bad press the mangers would of contacted corporate and attempt to give the guy MORE money to shut him up and make him very happy. Just imagine the headline in the paper reading.... "Local Thrifty car dealer selling DRUG CARS!" Yeah talk about a potential business killing article >
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