CHICAGO (CBS) — Valet parkers fought back over the weekend when thieves targeted car owners in Greektown.
Their actions likely prevented the criminals from getting one woman’s car. That woman spoke Monday to CBS 2’s Steven Graves.
Cathy Garner does a lot of walking now. But not even two feet can get her to work, so she took the day off Monday.
Two days earlier, a birthday lunch at the renowned Greek Islands Restaurant, 200 S. Halsted St., turned up anything but a gift.
“They were like, ‘I’ve very sorry, but your keys were taken,’” Garner said.
No keys, no drive home. Garner’s car was stuck at the Greek Islands free valet parking lot at Adams and Green streets, miles away from where she lives.
“I was very upset. I was very bummed out,” Garner said. “I was in tears.”
As she dined, two thieves devised a plan to break the glass to the valet booth at the lot. Police said they pulled up in a gray GMC Acadia around 2:45 p.m. Saturday, and one of them used an ice scraper to break the window.
Garner said Chicago Police told her the thieves took at least four sets of keys. They also made off with a 2013 Hyundai Sonata.
“I think that they just probably need to step up their valet service and to make sure there’s better security,” Garner said.
Ray Kando, a valet at the lot, said people have entrusted them with cars for years, and they do take security precautions.
“We always lock the doors,” Kando said. “The problem is we didn’t think someone was going to come and break the window in daylight.”
Kando, who has been a valet worker for 37 years, said the suspects staked out the lot around noon Saturday.
“They watch,” Kando said. “They’re very smart.”
The thieves grabbed the fobs and ran off, but didn’t do anything at first.
Workers soon noticed the keys were gone. So they blocked vehicles in, and also took out Garner’s battery so the cars couldn’t be stolen.
But the thieves were determined to take one. When they left with that Hyundai Sonata, they crashed into a parked Hyundai Palisade and plowed down a fence on the way out.
“It’s getting ridiculous man,” Kando said. “It’s getting ridiculous around here.”
Garner said the restaurant is paying her back. Police said they are looking for who is responsible.
Meanwhile, workers plan to replace the glass the thieves broke with metal.