Fake valets stealing cars in Philadelphia

February 26, 2013 3:06:12 PM PST
Two cars taken in just a week. You pull in to park, then the man you think is a parking attendant just drives away!

Now police are asking for the public's help.

"The guys, they just look like normal dudes and you give them your car keys," said Taralynn Baeza of Center City.

Most people assume that if someone is at a parking garage taking keys, they're supposed to be there.

"I never thought about it," said Larry Harris of Olney.

"You trust that the people you give your keys to aren't going to go through your car and take things or take your car," said Henrietta Harris of Olney.

Twice in a just a week now cars have been taken, after the owners thought they were parking in a valet garage.

On Wednesday a car was stolen from 19th and JFK at 3:30 in the afternoon. The owner lives in the building, gave the guy her key, and he drove off.

On Friday night around 6:30, during another garage's busiest hours, another woman was hit. She was trying to pull in at 15th and Sansom, a man walked up to her on the street and offered to help her out. He took her keys and just drove away.

"I think it's awful," said Baeza.

"Gives you a little pause, yes," said Larry Harris.

The parking management companies in each incident tell Action News that their employees are required to wear a uniform, or at very least a name badge. Most have coats and hats identifying them as valet employees.

Drivers we talked to say they are going to pay closer attention from here on out.

"I'm down here and I can't get home, I'm very upset," said Larry Harris.

"It's not a good thing for us or anybody else to park and come back and not have your car," said Henrietta Harris.

"People should now know that they should be cautious as well," said Baeza.

So far, police are not sure if the two cases are connected. Anyone with information about either case is asked to call Philadelphia Police.