New Hampshire

Man Rented BMW on Car Booking App, Led Police on 127 MPH Chase

State police said the pursuit occurred shortly after 10 p.m. on Dec. 8, but it took them until this week to make an arrest

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New Hampshire State Police have charged a man they say rented a BMW on a car booking app and then led them on a high-speed chase on Interstate 93 last month.

State police said the pursuit occurred shortly after 10 p.m. on Dec. 8, when a trooper monitoring traffic on I-93 north in Tilton was passed by a 2018 BMW 330XI going 101 mph. The trooper pulled out behind the car, which had then accelerated to 127 mph. The trooper activated her lights and siren, but the driver refused to stop.

The chase continued through the towns of Sanbornton, Meredith, New Hampton and Plymouth. Police said the car traveled at excessive speeds, exhibited lane control issues and turned off their lights while driving in an attempt to evade police.

Eventually, a trooper was able to successfully deploy a tire deflation device, police said. The car exited the highway in Plymouth, and the pursuit was terminated on Tenney Mountain Highway. A short time later, the car was located, but no one was inside.

State police continued their investigation over the following weeks and said they learned that the driver allegedly used a common car rental app known as Turo -- sort of an Airbnb for vehicles -- to rent the car from its owner before leading police in the pursuit.

They were ultimately able to identify the suspect as Benjamin Saxon, 22, of East Hartford, Connecticut, and a warrant was obtained for his arrest.

He was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of reckless conduct with a deadly weapon, two counts of disobeying an officer, unauthorized use of rented property valued at over $1,500, falsifying physical evidence, reckless operation and operating without lights.

Saxon was released on personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to appear in Belknap County Superior Court on Feb. 16.

Turo issued a statement saying they were "distressed to learn that one of our host's vehicles was involved in a crime last month on I-93" and that they have taken "immediate actions" to protect their community, including banning Saxon from the platform. They said they also worked with law enforcement on the investigation and supported the owner in getting their vehicle back.

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