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Valley Truck Rental Companies Being Vigilant Following New York Attack

2 years 9 months 1 week ago Wednesday, November 01 2017 Nov 1, 2017 November 01, 2017 9:02 PM November 01, 2017 in News

WESLACO – Police are advising rental truck companies to be on high alert.

Roel Pena runs a rental business in Weslaco, renting out thousands of trucks for use in moves over the years.

He said it generally pretty simple for people to apply.

"We ask for ID or driver license, debit and credit card," said Pena, owner of Nitro Equipment Rental and Sales.

Most everyone is approved for a truck. Pena's company has denied some customers over the years.

His staff is trained to notice how customers are acting, talking or if they appear nervous.

They utilize a program provided by U-Haul that will review a customer's background.

"If we are suspicious about the person or something, the software automatically rejects the application and we can't rent anything to that person," he said.

Pena adds if the software shows something is wrong, he has authorization to call the police.

Mercedes Police Chief Olga Maldonado said truck rental services in the Rio Grande Valley should be reminded by the incident in New York to be vigilant.

"Anybody can just go and rent a vehicle. It's not uncommon. But you'll know, sometimes you'll have your regulars because it's either a company that's using your company to transport equipment and things like that. But if you see somebody from out of state coming to rent a vehicle here, then try to get a little more information," said Maldonado.

Maldonado said law enforcement in the Valley is taking note of recent incidents involving a truck being used as a weapon to mow down people.

"Just because that happened in New York, does not mean that's not going to happen anywhere else. Or Washington or the northern states," she adds.

She said police in the Valley are always on high alert for any incidents including something involving a vehicle used as a weapon.

If someone wants to rent a truck in the Valley, they can't do it at Home Depot. The suspect in New York is said to have used a pick-up rented at a Home Depot store.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to several home depot stores here.

All of them said pick-ups cannot be rented in a Home Depot in our region.

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