False Arrest: It happened to me.

by DGR


Call to U-Haul

– Ashley in NC, USA provided the following info today
– status: currently unresolved
– assigned to marketing company president today, John Fisher
– 800-263-4809, 905-578-9119
– 1-800-468-4285, General Number

905-730-8796, Lucy, U-Haul, or 905-573-6006, office


At approximately 10:30am Wednesday January 2, 2018
– driving U-Haul 10ft truck southbound on Sherman Avenue
– Occupants: Son and myself
– The police pulled the truck over on Sherman Avenue at King by two Hamilton Police officers: constables White and Houle
– Officers proceeded to ask for identification and ownership
– I produced my license. No ownership in the vehicle
– Officers proceeded to advise that I and Son were under arrest
– We were hand-cuffed and put in the back of separate cruisers
– We remained in the cruisers for approximately 30 minutes.
– I was informed at first that the truck plates were stolen
– I was then told that the truck was reported stolen
– I was then told that there was some kind of theft event on December 24th in Hamilton involving U-haul
– I was than told that anything I said could be used against me in court.
– I told the officer the situation as far as I knew it to be and that I had nothing to hide
– My son noticed that one officer was viewing porn on his phone in the cruiser while waiting (I believe it was officer Houle)
– Eventually we were released unconditionally
– the officer (white) advised that we take the truck back immediately as it was still registered as stolen
– I dropped son off at the library
– I parked the truck in the Dundurn Castle parking lot and proceeded to phone U-Haul head office
– I spoke with the “traffic supervisor” (female)
– I told her the story.
– She asked for the officer names and badge numbers so that she could confirm the event.
– I did not have the arresting officer info
– She said she would follow up with the Police service in Hamilton and call me right back
– After 30 minutes and no return call, I called the police service to track down the arresting officers names
– I then called U-Haul to speak again with the traffic supervisor
– I spoke with John at the Regional Office in Hamilton.
– John advised that the supervisor was on vacation
– John offered me a $20 VIP voucher.
– I declined the voucher
– John advised that the Supervisor would follow up with me at her earliest opportunity.
– I confirmed further that the truck was cleared
– I put gas in the truck and drove it home.
– I called Deborah at the U-Haul office. She gave me a number to call to complete a ‘form’
– I will call that number this afternoon.

Letter to U-Haul via
https://www.uhaul.com/Contact/Email/ (consumer arbitration)

“January 2, 2018

The 10′ truck I was driving was pulled over by local police this morning and I was arrested (temporarily). The truck/plate was reported stolen (in 2017 it turns out). I and my helper were hand-cuffed at put in separate cruisers for close to 30 minutes through no fault of our own. This was a humiliating, unfair, negligent and perfect example of corporate ineptitude and I wish to be compensated in full for having had this experience inflicted on me via U-Haul. I have a complete timeline of the incident and I am following up with local police services and seeking legal advice in an effort to obtain some form of compensation without resorting to a legal remedy.

I was in contact with the U-Haul regional office immediately after the incident and spoke with the Traffic Manager/Supervisor (female) who promised a prompt response. When I didn’t receive a response after 1 hour I called the office again and spoke with ‘John’ who offered me a VIP voucher which I declined. He said the supervisor was on vacation and that she would contact me asap to begin to resolve the issue. I also gave John the arresting officer’s names.

I am a repeat customer and have received excellent service from the 419 Plains Road East, Burlington, Ontario location (staff knows the product, very helpful). I have recommended U-Haul extensively and use your truck rentals exclusively. I am very disappointed and surprised at the kind of resolution offered to me so far.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this serious matter.”



First, they don’t report the vehicle as stolen. It was leased to the user, not stolen.

Second, if you fail to return the truck, they add extra fees, plus interest.

Third, they can and will repossess the truck. Legally, they’re supposed to remove any of your property that’s in the truck and return it to you


If the U-Haul Center or independent Dealer follows the protocols, it wouldn’t be reported as a stolen vehicle. Failure to return a rental vehicle when due, if it was legitimately rented, is not considered vehicle theft but only a violation of the rental contract with whatever financial penalties – such as forfeiture of deposit and overtime charges – as noted in the Contract Terms. Why? Because the customer didn’t steal the truck, it was voluntarily leased to him or her by the dealer; s/he was given the keys at the beginning of the rental period.

To establish vehicle theft – assuming it wasn’t initially “hot wired” off a U-Haul lot w/o a contract in the first instance or stolen from a legitimate renter – it is necessary to show that the customer altered the vehicle in some way – such as repainting – to disguise it as something other than a U-Haul vehicle – and/or other evidence that the customer never intended to return the vehicle at all. (Hidden in a cave; stuff like that.)


First Uhaul will try to contact you multiple times then if you ignore the 10–50 missed calls and don’t make contact they report the vehicle stolen because your contract is up. Then either the police find you or U-Haul employees whose job is to find stolen equipment find you.


In order for the police to be considered to have falsely or wrongfully arrested someone, they have to be considered to have done one of these two factors:

Acted without authority; or
Acted beyond the scope of their powers.

It’s simply not enough to accuse the police of false arrest if they did have reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime and if neither of these two factors is in place.

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