VENICE (CBSLA.com) — A 20-year-old man was arrested for allegedly stealing a $200,000 Mercedes-Benz SLS outside a Venice restaurant after the valet had left it running for the owner.
The incident happened Tuesday afternoon at Feed Body & Soul on Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
The valet, who didn’t want to appear on camera, told KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper that a man was watching him when he went to retrieve the eatery owner’s car.
“I went and grabbed one of the cars in the street and backed it up… and as soon as I got out and I was coming to get her car…he dropped the bike, got in her car and took off,” he said.
The car was immediately reported stolen by the valet and the car’s owner, and the OnStar system was activated. Officers eventually tracked down the luxury vehicle parked near the Veteran of Foreign Wars hall (VFW) in Panorama City around 3 p.m.
Officers watched the car until they saw the suspect, identified as Dylan Coffey, approach the pricey vehicle.
“Something spooked him and he went into the VFW hall where detectives entered,” said Lt. Paul Vernon of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Coffey left the VFW hall and then jumped a fence into a residential area. He then reportedly entered a house owned by Curtis Pickrell in the 13500 block of Reedley Street, where he dressed in the homeowner’s clothes and hid under a woodpile.
He also grabbed a bit of grub.
“He took some frozen chicken from Trader Joe’s, some Chex Mix and mangos, and he ate some sausages out of the fridge,” said Pickrell, who wasn’t home at the time. “He just took a pair of shoes and some jeans and that was it. I mean, he was planning on taking more. Luckily, the cops got him.”
Police arrested Coffey and recovered the Mercedes.
“The owner was happy to hear her car was found, none the worse for wear, and we promised her we wouldn’t dirty the interior with print dust,” Vernon said.
Coffey was jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail. He was booked on suspicion of burglary for entering the home.
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