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.