GURNEE, Ill. (STMW/WBBM) — A north suburban couple who spent the day at Six Flags Great America also got to spend some time with police on Sunday after trying to drive away after their car had been booted for illegal parking, police said.

The owners of the Northern Lights Crossing parking lot at 5320 Rt. 132 in Gurnee have contracted a company to place tire boots on vehicles that are parked there by people who then go to the nearby Six Flags park, Gurnee police Cmdr. Jay Patrick said. WBBM’s Debra Dale has details.

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There are signs posted in the lot warning drivers that the lot is for customer parking only and of the consequences for non-customer parking, Patrick said.

On Sunday, two employees saw a car park in the lot, and the man and woman inside walked over to Six Flags, Patrick said. So about 7 p.m., the employees placed a tire boot on the vehicle.

When the woman returned and found the boot, one of the employees informed her of the cost to remove the boot from her vehicle. Carina Rios, 19, of Zion, told him she had no money to pay to remove the boot and allegedly instructed her boyfriend, Alejandro Alvarez, 22, of Zion, to remove the boot, police said.

Alvarez attempted to remove the boot but was not having much success. In the meantime, the employees began installing a second boot on the other side of the car. Rios became upset and shoved the employee, almost knocking him over, then told Alvarez to take off with the car.

They jumped in and drove away with the first tire boot still attached, but didn’t get far. A Gurnee police officer located the car a few blocks away with the couple standing outside the car. Both were arrested.

Rios was charged with theft and battery, and Alvarez was charged with theft and criminal damage to property for damaging the boot. Both were released on a $1,500 recognizance bond and will appear in court in Waukegan on July 14.

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