(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) — A dinner outing turned out to be more expensive than an Orange County man bargained for. It cost him his car.
Josh Gelle said when he got back to a parking lot Friday night after a trip to a restaurant in Newport Beach, California, he asked about his 2014 Mazda CX-9 and, “we were told they gave it away.”
“We were in disbelief,” Gelle said. “We were like, ‘Where’s the hidden camera? Is this a joke?'”
Gelle’s girlfriend, Jodie Abadie, pulled out her cellphone and started recording an interaction with a valet at LAZ Parking after Gelle said they were given the news.
“I was very upset and I took the video to protect ourselves because it seemed suspicious,” Abadie told ABC News.
In the video, she tried to get an explanation.
“You just gave it to him?” she asked of the car.
“I didn’t give it to him,” said the valet.
“Who gave it to him?,” Abadie asked.
“The other guy that’s not here anymore,” said the valet.
A while later, Abadie asked if the lot had ever before given a car to someone without a ticket.
“Not here that I know of,” said the valet.
“That’s not normal protocol, right?” she asked.
“No! Not at all,” the valet said.
Gelle said that the parking lot arranged to get him a rental car so he “can go home and get around.” Meanwhile, Gelle added, he filed a police report with the Newport Beach Police Department and a claim with his insurance company.
Jennifer Manzella, a Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman, confirmed to ABC News that a police report was filed, but added, “We do not have any news on the car yet.”
Mary Brennan Coursey, a spokeswoman for LAZ Parking, said in a statement to ABC News that “Safety, security and guest service is our utmost priority.”
“Regrettably, it appears our company policies and procedures were not properly followed and we have apologized and are actively supporting the customer whose vehicle was affected,” Coursey added. “We take this incident very seriously and once we have completed our review of the incident, will act accordingly.”
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