A rental company has taken drastic action against a car illegally parked in its driveway.
Dan Smith, a Seattle real estate owner, came home to find his driveway blocked by a Car2go vehicle.
Instead of waiting for the car to be moved, Smith declared war by erecting a barricade around the car with metal posts.
Asad Rasheed, the building’s tenant, and Smith were plagued by Car2go vehicles illegally parked in their driveway. This latest incident was the last straw that broke the camel’s back before Smith decided to take the car hostage.
While the car was barricaded, Smith ransomed Share Now, the company that operates car2go.
He charged $65 a day for vehicle storage, $300 for the barrier and about $500 for harassment.
Several attempts were made to rescue the car while it was trapped in the cordon.
“People aren’t being informed about where to park, where not to and how to use them,” Rasheed said. “That happens often. This happens once a month, every two months. You can see parked cars there.”
Rasheed and Smith were reportedly verbally abused multiple times by car2go customers who attempted to use the vehicle.
According to KIRO 7, seven car2go customers tried to rent the vehicle the day after it was barricaded in the driveway.
Share Now fleet workers attempted to recover the vehicle but had concerns about moving the barriers.
The feud lasted three weeks and only ended when lawyers were called in. Smith and Share Now were able to reach an agreement regarding the incident.
While Share Now paid for the fence ransom costs, Smith did not charge the fees originally requested. The agreed amount was not disclosed, but Smith was pleased with the resolution of the situation.
“I’m relieved. It’s just nice to be over it, you know. And I think everyone’s grown and learned, and that’s the most important thing,” Smith said.
Share Now also released a statement following the incident, reminding customers not to park in other people’s driveways.
“Share Now would like to remind our members that we have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to unauthorized parking of our vehicles. And we will continue to hold members caught doing it accountable.”
Car2go and ShareNow went out of business shortly after this incident. Its North American presence has struggled to remain profitable, despite serving 148,000 customers in Seattle alone.
Backed by BMW, the company offered short-term luxury car rentals, but struggled to stay relevant in a market dominated by ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.
Smith said he planned to put up tow-warning signs around the property and to tow any future offenders, but it looks like he won’t have that problem anymore.