Rental truck policies are under scrutiny as one appeared to be used in the NYC terror attack that killed 8

Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images
  • A rented Home Depot truck was used in a terrorist act that killed at least eight people Tuesday.
  • 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 at least eight people.

Previously, the New York Police Department has instructed truck rental companies — including Home Depots in 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 last 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 last two years, as drivers deliberately plow vehicles 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 attacker appears to have used a flatbed truck from Home Depot. According to Home Depot’s website, the truck requires a $US50 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 go to 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 21 years of age and have a current U.S. or Canadian driver’s licence to rental 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 if the incident in New York City or terrorist attacks in Europe using rented trucks would lead to the retailer changing its rental policy.

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