A Masterton woman has been arrested in relation to a scam in which a rental car customer was fooled by a thief with a clipboard and a hi-vis vest.

The woman has been charged with receiving a stolen car, taken from Wellington Airport by a man posing as a rental car attendant.

Acting Senior Sergeant Rob Rackliff of Masterton said the red 2012 SV6 Holden Commodore was stolen from the airport on July 13.

The customer returning it to the carpark had left the keys with a man he thought worked for a rental car company.


The thief, who was wearing hi-vis clothing and holding a clipboard, had then driven off in the car, which was found by police attending an unrelated incident in Hessey St on Thursday.

The 24-year-old Masterton woman was arrested on Thursday and bailed to appear in the Masterton District Court next week.

Police were continuing their inquires, Mr Rackliff said.

A spokeswoman for Wellington Airport said the airport was aware of the theft and was assisting police, but declined to make any further comment.

Hertz, Avis and Thrifty Car Rentals were reluctant to comment when approached by the Times-Age.

A Hertz spokesman said he was unaware of anything similar happening before, adding people returning rental cars needed to be sure the person they handed keys over to was a company employee. Hi-vis vests worn by rental car company employees tended to have a company logo on them.