- A rented Home Depot truck was used to plow through people Tuesday in what authorities called a terrorist attack. The NYPD previously instructed rental-car businesses on how to identify suspicious customers. The vehicle-rental industry has a “high level of awareness” on the subject, according to police.
On Tuesday, a driver plowed a rented Home Depot truck down a bike lane, killing eight people and injuring at least 11 others in what authorities are calling a terrorist attack.
The New York Police Department has previously instructed truck-rental companies – including Home Depot locations in the New York City metro area – on how to identify suspicious customers, according to police officials.
The NYPD spoke with 148 truck-rental businesses multiple times over the past year, Deputy Commissioner John Miller said in a press conference early Tuesday evening. According to Miller, the region’s vehicle-rental industry has a “high level of awareness” of how to identify people who may carry out terrorist attacks.
Trucks and vans have been used multiple times in terrorist attacks in Europe in the past two years, with drivers deliberately plowing into crowds of people. More than 100 people have been killed in similar attacks Britain, France, Germany, and Sweden using vehicles, the Daily Mail reported in August.
The driver in Tuesday’s attack appeared to use a flatbed truck from Home Depot. According to Home Depot’s website, the truck requires a $50 deposit and is intended for rentals of one to two hours but can be rented at a daily, weekly, or monthly rate.
With the “Load ‘N Go” program, a customer can visit a Home Depot Special Services Desk or Tool Rental Center in stores to rent a flatbread truck (typically to save on delivery fees).
Currently, you only need to be at least 21 years old and have a valid US or Canadian driver’s license to rent a truck from Home Depot. Unless you’re renting through the “Load ‘N Go” program, you do not need to provide proof of car insurance.
Home Depot did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s inquiry as to whether the incident in New York City or terrorist attacks in Europe using rented trucks would lead the retailer to change its rental policy.