In what police are calling a disturbing trend, shooters are having their friends rent cars that they then drive during vehicle shootouts across Brockton, our news partners at The Enterprise1 reported.

The trend has gunmen – who police say aren’t the people named in the car rental agreement – firing bullets along city streets while using the rental car scheme as a way to evade police and capture.

“These guys are getting in brand new cars to outrun us and evade us and we don’t know who they are,” police Sgt.

Mark Celia said Sunday.

He spoke minutes after a rental car that police say had been targeted in a shootout on Menlo Street Sunday afternoon fled the scene, led police on a chase across Brockton, and ultimately crashed on River Street on the city’s East Side.

No injuries were reported.

Police said three people were detained following the crash on River Street.

The 4 p.m.

shooting on Menlo Street Sunday occurred during roll call at the police station when officers change shifts.

One car began shooting at people who were standing outside of a gray Chrysler 200, a rental car which then fled the scene, police said.

A Brockton detective in an unmarked cruiser on the city’s East Side saw a car matching the description of the Chrysler that fled Menlo Street, and pursued it, Celia said.

Police recovered one gun in the Chrysler after it crashed into a parked car on River Street, and they were looking for a second firearm, he said.

The incident occurred hours after police seized two loaded firearms that police said they found inside a rental car.

Police arrested four Brockton men after stopping a suspicious Dodge Charger at Pleasant and Hereford streets early Sunday morning, police said.

Inside the Dodge Charger, which police later learned was a rental car, detectives found a Bryco .38 caliber pistol with one round in the chamber and two additional rounds in the magazine and a Titan .25 caiber pistol with one round in the chamber.

None of the four men arrested shortly after midnight were listed on the rental car agreement for the Dodge Charger that they were traveling in, police said.

Celia said people perpetrating the spate of gun violence seen in the city in recent weeks are having their girlfriends or friends rent the cars for them to use in shootouts across Brockton.

“They’ll get them from Hertz or some of the mom and pop rental places,” Celia said. “The rental places just think they’re renting to, for example, Sally Smith and Sally Smith rents the car on behalf of the thug and they go do their business.”


“Most of the shootings we’ve had recently, the cars come back as rentals,” Celia said.
When police track down the person who rented the car involved in a shooting, “sometimes they’re cooperative, sometimes they’re not,” he said.

Mayor Bill Carpenter on Sunday called for rental companies to be held accountable for contributing to gun violence in Brockton.

“Again, we find a rental car being used for illegal activity,” Carpenter said after the four city men were arrested early Sunday morning. “It is time for us to start holding car rental companies accountable for aiding and abetting gun violence and drug distribution in our city.”

Two of the biggest hurdles investigators have faced lately are the use of hotel rooms and rental cars by drug dealers, officials said.

“These guys are constantly swapping out rental cars,” Carpenter said in late May, adding that detectives are developing relationships with rental agencies to combat the problem.