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Car Thief Targets Newport Beach Valet

One man's valeted car is another man's stolen wheels.

Joe's Crab Shack
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Step one when dining at Joe’s Crab Shack in Newport Beach: find a parking spot on the street. Because if you leave your keys with valet, there’s a good chance the car you drove up in won’t be there when dinner’s done.

At least that was the case for one man, in a story relayed by LAist recently. Josh Gelle probably just felt like hitting up the seafood joint for a big ol’ Go Shrimpin’ platter (that’s three kinds of shrimp, each stuffed with cream cheese and jalapeños), but after paying the bill found that his Mazda had been absconded with. Apparently one of the valet guys gave away the keys to a thief that didn’t even have the ticket stub to prove it was his to drive off with.

Gelle’s dining partner thinks the valet is possibly up to some funny business, especially since the man who gave away the wheels had already been sent home by the time the pair were done dining. How deep does this valet conspiracy go?

LAZ Parking, which manages the valet stand, has propped Gelle up with a temporary rental until his Mazda can be found.