Rental truck companies stress protocols after NYC terror attack

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - Terrorists are finding new ways to carry out attacks, including using rental pickup trucks.

The rental trucks can do a lot of damage, so rental truck companies like Budget are trying to ensure they don’t get in the hands of the wrong people.

Evelyn Poole is renting a truck to help her move from Albany to Georgia.

“It makes me more responsible for gathering my stuff, going through it, getting what I need, and taking it back,” she said.

But while she was picking up the truck, she couldn’t help but think about what happened in New York City on Tuesday.

Authorities said 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov drove a rented Home Depot truck for nearly a mile along a bike path, running down cyclists and pedestrians. He then crashed into a school bus. He was shot in the abdomen after he jumped out of the vehicle brandishing two air guns.

Twelve other people were injured in the attack.

“It just makes us all very sad,” Poole said.

Manager of Budget in Albany, Julian Melendez, said that within hours of the incident, corporate sent e-mails to its stores with some reminders.

“If we see something, to call our local police, to make sure people have valid driver’s licenses, that we’re double checking that the driver’s license is the person that’s here,” Melendez said.

To ensure he’s renting to the “right” people, Melendez talks to customers to feel them out. But he said there’s a thin line.

“You have to be careful because not everybody’s the same,” he said. “So just because someone might be quiet, that might not mean that they’re suspicious.”

He does, however, remember turning away a customer after spending 10 minutes trying to explain that they needed a driver’s license and credit card to rent a truck.

“Since he couldn’t comprehend the basic needs of what we needed, we just asked him to leave,” he said.

While Poole understands the importance of taking precautions, she wishes people didn’t take advantage of the trucks in the first place.

“We should become, once again, a people of conscious where we use things what they’re meant to be used for,” she said.

Melendez also said he only accepts credit card payments because if something goes wrong it’s easier to track the customer.

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