Duo accused of running $180K rental car theft scheme out of Miami airport

Police: Margate woman arrested, man still listed ‘at large’

Anseca Calix and Israel Smith (MDCR/Copyright 2022 Google)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade police accused a man and woman of running a large-scale rental car theft operation out of the Miami International Airport, according to an arrest report.

Police arrested Anseca Calix, 27, of Margate, Monday, while her alleged co-conspirator, Israel Omari Smith, 28, remained “at large,” the report states.

According to the report, Calix and Smith targeted vehicles from the Avis Budget Group between Sept. 18 and Nov. 20. Police wrote that both were seen on CCTV footage taking cars from the airport’s rental car center.

“They appear to have been using a fraudulent SKU number issued by Avis Group when a valid reservation is made,” a detective wrote.

Police said in some of the cases, the SKU numbers didn’t work and the gate to exit the facility didn’t open.

In those cases, the two “challenged” the company’s security guard in an “aggressive” way, to the point where he told officers he felt “intimidated” and opened the gate for the suspects, police wrote.

Police said the amount of theft from the company totaled more than $180,000.

According to police, Margate police officers pulled over a third man, Herby Smith Lordeus, 29, on Nov. 7 after a vehicle’s license plate came back stolen from the airport.

Lordeus, who was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, told officers that he rented the car for $150 per day from Calix, whom she knew from high school.

Calix faces four counts each of organized scheme to defraud and grand theft.

About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.