MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police say a car thief dressed in an Enterprise uniform to steal an SUV off an Enterprise lot and tried to take a car from Hertz at the Memphis airport.
Detectives with the Auto Theft Task Forces said Charles Lanos, 24, and Blake Bolton, 20, worked as a team to steal a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee from the Enterprise in the 2000 block of Airways last month.
They said three days later, the men abandoned the Jeep at Mendenhall and Sparks after they ran out of gas and tried to drive a Nissan Altima off the Hertz Rental lot in the 3600 block of Airways the same day.
ATTF detectives said both times, Lanos wore an Enterprise shirt provided to him by Bolton to go unnoticed. He said Bolton also gave him a fraudulent Enterprise work order to use.
Lanos told police after he took the Jeep from Enterprise, he drove it down the street, where Bolton took possession of the vehicle.
Investigators said a Hertz employee stopped Lanos from taking the Altima off their lot. The employee said Lanos told him he was there to pick up a car for Enterprise and gave him some paperwork he realized was fake.
The Hertz worker said after he told Lanos he could not take the car, he tried to hide his face, got out of the vehicle, and ran.
Police said Bolton got the Enterprise shirt and work order from a relative, who was recently fired from the company, and the relative drove Lanos to the Enterprise lot. No word if the relative is facing any charges.
The latest crime numbers from the Memphis Data Hub show so far this year, 11,286 vehicles have been reported stolen in the Memphis area. That compares to 6,080 auto thefts during the same period in 2022.
Lanos was released from jail on a $1,500 bond, and Bolton was released on his own recognizance.
Bolton was booked back in the Shelby County Jail on Thursday after he was charged with another theft. Police said Bolton was caught on camera at around 2:30 a.m. trying to slip under the gate at FedEx Express with two stolen iPhones.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.