This past summer, Cierra and Josh Barton a California couple, bought a brand new Honda HR-V. A couple of months later somebody helped themselves to it right in front of their Livermore apartment complex.
After the initial panic wore off and a new normal set in they went about their lives. Then the Haywood Police called to say their car had been found abandoned by the side of the road in Haywood. A new panic set in as they went to pick it up.
Cierra said she was wondering about the condition of the car. Would it be burned or gutted? Turns out it was neither. The Bartons' say what they discovered was worse.
Someone had been using the car for ridesharing. Lyft stickers were attached to the front, and rear window and the odometer reading had gone from 2,000 miles to more than 13,000. Also, there were dents on the car and evidence that it had been involved in an accident.
The case then took a turn for the bizarre. Lyft gave SFGATE the following statement:
"The safety of the Lyft community is our top priority and we take these allegations seriously. Given the information provided, we are unable to match this vehicle to any Lyft accounts in the area. We have reached out to Ms. Barton and we stand ready to assist law enforcement in any investigation."
This is quite odd seeing that California drivers wishing to drive for Lyft must present the following to drive for the rideshare company. A vehicle inspection form, a California driver's license and personal vehicle insurance, a driver photo and a California license plate.
The Barton's car was too new for a license plate and still had the dealers' paper tag. Was the Lyft sticker simply a cover for another job or was this an inside job?
Even stranger is that the Pleasanton Police week's prior discovered a metal plate registered to the vehicle weeks before it was discovered.
Hayward Police spokesperson Tasha DeCosta said, "stolen cars are rampant, dime-a-dozen in her jurisdiction."
There are currently no leads on who took the car or was using it over the four-month period.