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BNA’s Department Of Public Safety Helps Identify Suspect In Attempted Rental Car Theft


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Clearview AI 

delivered leads within 

a few seconds

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Within two hours, the suspect 

was identified and an arrest 

warrant was issued

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2x as many rental car theft suspects are now being identified at BNA since utilizing Clearview AI



According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, theft is a significant challenge in the world of rental cars, with an estimated 30,000 stolen every year. At Nashville International Airport (BNA) alone, thieves stole $2 million worth of rental cars in an 18-month period between 2018 and 2019. The thieves used counterfeit driver’s licenses and credit cards to rent cars and rather than returning the cars, they would resell them or use them to further commit crimes. Some of the stolen cars ended up as far away as Western Africa.


Because the rental car thieves used counterfeit driver’s licenses and credit cards, it was difficult to identify them. If the suspect had arrived at the airport by plane, the airport’s investigator could comb through hours of video feeds, work backwards to identify the flight on which the suspect arrived at the airport, and go to a court to request a subpoena to obtain the manifest for that flight from the airline. This process could take weeks.


Rental car thieves do not stay in one place, and often will tour a region and steal rental cars from multiple airports. Because of this, regional airports often work together to identify rental car thieves.

“We’re just getting destroyed with the rental car thefts. We’re losing millions of dollars worth of cars each year”



An AI-driven facial recognition solution can drastically accelerate the identification process. Facial recognition compares an uploaded probe image against a database of images. Law enforcement agencies use facial recognition results as investigative leads, and when supported by other evidence, they can accurately and rapidly identify suspects, persons of interest, and victims of crimes.


The technology Clearview AI provides is a post-event research tool, using over 30 billion photos derived from publicly available web sources, including social media posts, personal and professional websites, news articles, online mugshots and other criminal databases, public record sites and thousands of other open source records.

The picture on a counterfeit driver’s license may provide an investigative lead.



Lt. Scott Harding of Teneessee’s Nashville International Airport, Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigations Division was contacted by an investigator at Kentucky’s Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport. At the Louisville airport, a suspicious person tried to rent a car, but was approached by police officers. The suspect ended up fleeing the scene in another car, leaving his counterfeit driver’s license behind. The license plate number on the fleeing car could not be identified, but the Louisville airport investigator had the counterfeit driver’s license. The investigator sent a picture of it to a regional airport fraud taskforce group, which includes Lt. Harding.


Lt. Harding searched the facial image from the license using Clearview AI. Within a few seconds, he received a result. Criminal Investigations Division never bases a case solely on a Clearview AI result, and always conducts a full investigation. In this case, Lt. Harding used the name to search the FBI’s National Data Exchange (N-DEx) System. This uncovered multiple arrests of the person, including a fraud-related arrest.

“We never base a case solely on a Clearview AI hit. We use the information from the Clearview AI hit to conduct additional investigation.”


Within two hours of the original request, Lt. Harding contacted the investigator in Louisville and provided his full investigation details, giving the Louisville investigator enough information to issue an arrest warrant.


Before Clearview AI was available to the Criminal Investigations Division at Nashville International Airport, investigators were only able to identify fewer than 10% of rental car thieves. Investigators are now able to identify more than 20% of these individuals, doubling their identification capabilities.


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