Local man pleads guilty for stealing cars from Pittsburgh International Airport rental lot

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Passengers at Pittsburgh International Airport trying to rent a car were puzzled and frustrated after learning that a Hertz contract employee admitted he’d been stealing from the airport lot, one car at a time.

“Like they just vanished or how do you not keep track of 24 cars?” Riley Colfer, a passenger at Pittsburgh International questioned.

“It’s hard to get a rental car and even when people make reservations there are no rental cars available,” said Tulip, a Hertz customer.

According to federal officials Bernard Washington, 31, of Coraopolis worked at the Hertz airport location in 2021 from May until October. He stole 24 cars right off the lot.

He then sold at least three of the stolen cars in Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware, and in exchange he received not just money, but more stolen cars.

“Like you would think there is a GPS, a tracker some sort of ID on the car in order to track that car going from state to state to state,” Colfer said.

We reached out to Hertz to see if they could provide any insight on how this employee got away with stealing so many cars, but the company wouldn’t comment. But employees from other rental companies who wanted to remain off camera said this isn’t a new scheme.

“I wonder about the other employees and how that reflects on them?” Tulip questioned.

Washington just pleaded guilty and now faces up to five years in prison and could have to pay up to $250,000 in fines.

“If you are a business and you’re running a business you need to keep track of your inventory,” Colfer said.

According to court documents, Washington will have his sentencing trial in May.

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