Today's Law As Amended

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AB-391 Leased and rented vehicles: embezzlement and theft.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.

 Section 10500 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

10500.
 (a) Every A  peace officer, upon receiving a report based on reliable information that any a  vehicle registered under this code has been stolen, taken, or driven in violation of Section 10851, or that a leased or rented vehicle has not been returned within five days after its owner has made written demand for its return, by certified or registered mail, following the expiration of the lease or rental agreement,  72 hours following the expiration of the lease or rental agreement and after the owner attempted to notify the customer pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 10855,  or that license plates for any a  vehicle have been lost or stolen, shall, immediately after receiving that information, report the information to the Department of Justice Stolen Vehicle System. An officer, upon receiving information of the recovery of any a  vehicle described in this subdivision, or of the recovery of plates which have been previously reported as lost or stolen, shall immediately report the fact of the recovery to the Department of Justice Stolen Vehicle System. At the same time, the recovering officer shall advise the Department of Justice Stolen Vehicle System and the original reporting police  law enforcement  agency of the location and condition of the vehicle or license plates recovered. The original reporting police  law enforcement  agency, upon receipt of the information from the recovering officer, shall, shall  immediately attempt to notify the reporting party by telephone, if the telephone number of the reporting party is available or readily accessible, of the location and condition of the recovered vehicle. If the reporting party’s telephone number is unknown, or notification attempts were unsuccessful, the original reporting police  law enforcement  agency shall notify the reporting party by placing, in the mail, a notice providing the location and condition of the recovered vehicle. This written notice shall be mailed within 24 hours of the original reporting police  law enforcement  agency’s receipt of the information of the recovery of the vehicle, excluding holidays and weekends.
(b) If the recovered vehicle is subject to parking or storage charges, Section 10652.5 applies.
(c) This section shall remain in effect until January 1, 2024, and as of that date, is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 10500 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

10500.
 (a) A peace officer, upon receiving a report based on reliable information that a vehicle registered under this code has been stolen, taken, or driven in violation of Section 10851, or that a leased or rented vehicle has not been returned within five days after its owner has made written demand for its return, by certified or registered mail, following the expiration of the lease or rental agreement, or that license plates for a vehicle have been lost or stolen, shall, immediately after receiving that information, report the information to the Department of Justice Stolen Vehicle System. An officer, upon receiving information of the recovery of a vehicle described in this subdivision, or of the recovery of plates which have been previously reported as lost or stolen, shall immediately report the fact of the recovery to the Department of Justice Stolen Vehicle System. At the same time, the recovering officer shall advise the Department of Justice Stolen Vehicle System and the original reporting law enforcement agency of the location and condition of the vehicle or license plates recovered. The original reporting law enforcement agency, upon receipt of the information from the recovering officer, shall immediately attempt to notify the reporting party by telephone, if the telephone number of the reporting party is available or readily accessible, of the location and condition of the recovered vehicle. If the reporting party’s telephone number is unknown, or notification attempts were unsuccessful, the original reporting law enforcement agency shall notify the reporting party by placing, in the mail, a notice providing the location and condition of the recovered vehicle. This written notice shall be mailed within 24 hours of the original reporting law enforcement agency’s receipt of the information of the recovery of the vehicle, excluding holidays and weekends.
(b) If the recovered vehicle is subject to parking or storage charges, Section 10652.5 applies.
(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2024.

SEC. 3.

 Section 10855 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

10855.
 Whenever (a)  (1)   any If a  person who has leased or rented a vehicle wilfully willfully  and intentionally fails to return the vehicle to its owner within five days 72 hours  after the lease or rental agreement has expired, that the  person shall be presumed to have embezzled the vehicle.
(2) If the owner of a vehicle that has been leased or rented discovers that it was procured by fraud, the owner is not required to wait until the expiration of the lease or rental agreement to inform law enforcement pursuant to subdivision (c).
(b) The owner of an embezzled vehicle as described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall attempt to contact the other party to the lease or rental agreement who has failed to return the vehicle using the contact method designated in the rental agreement for this purpose. If the owner is able to contact the party, the owner shall inform the party that if arrangements for the return of the vehicle that are satisfactory for the owner are not made, the owner may report the vehicle stolen to law enforcement. If the owner is not able to contact the other party after a reasonable number of attempts, or, if upon contacting the other party, the owner is not able to arrange for the satisfactory return of the vehicle, the owner may report the vehicle stolen pursuant to subdivision (c).
(c) The owner of a vehicle that has been embezzled as described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), after satisfaction of the requirements of subdivision (b), or of a vehicle that was stolen as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), may report this occurrence to a peace officer.
(d) The lease or rental agreement shall disclose that failure to return the vehicle within 72 hours of the expiration of the lease or rental agreement may result in the owner reporting the vehicle as stolen and shall require the lessee to provide a method to contact the lessee if the vehicle is not returned.
(e) Section 40000.1 does not apply to an owner who fails to comply with this section.
(f) This section shall remain in effect until January 1, 2024, and as of that date, is repealed.

SEC. 4.

 Section 10855 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

10855.
 (a) If a person who has leased or rented a vehicle willfully and intentionally fails to return the vehicle to its owner within five days after the lease or rental agreement has expired, the person shall be presumed to have embezzled the vehicle.
(b) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2024.