Independence woman makes surprising find in rental truck

Woman Makes Surprising Find in Rental Truck

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (WDAF) -- An Independence woman found a gun underneath her seat when she went to turn in her rental truck Tuesday. As surprised as she was to find the gun when she went to return the car, she says she was even more shocked the rental company said they knew about the gun, but never told her.

Tammy Parsons rented a Ford F-150 from Budget on Noland Road Saturday for her trip to Branson. The truck was due back Tuesday morning.

"We were sweeping out the floor board and Darlene said you need to come and look at this," Parsons said.

She walked around to the driver's side and couldn't believe what she saw.

"She showed me underneath the seat and it was a revolver and it was in a little holster and my mouth just dropped," Parsons said.

She drove straight to the rental office thinking she'd have to convince them the gun wasn't hers, and she had no idea how it got there.

"I said 'I've got a vehicle to return that I'm a little uneasy about some things' and she goes 'Oh yeah there's a gun in it the owner had called,'" Parsons described in disbelief.

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Woman makes surprising find in rental truck

Budget General Manager Joe Collins explained the gun's owner called just minutes before she was set to return the truck, and that's why Parsons was never notified. He said the gun was missed in inspections before it was rented and the company felt terrible about it.

"It was right where the seat goes forward and backwards, now 10,000 things go through your mind what if it had gone off? What if we had got hurt?" Parsons wondered.

Her list of what ifs also included what if she had been pulled over and police had found the gun, or even worse if children did.

Parsons is now urging gun owners to be mindful of where they leave their weapons, and car renters to be on the lookout.

"I feel thankful that it didn't happen, however, I think that people should be aware that when you are renting a vehicle there may be super surprises," she said.

Collins said company protocol is for staff to call the police when a gun is found so they can sort out if it should go back to the rightful owner. However, in this case that didn't happen, and that gun was turned over to the man who rented the car previously.

The woman who found the gun filed a police report after leaving the business Tuesday. Independence police couldn't be reached for comment on how they'll handle the investigation.

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