NEWPORT BEACH  (CBSLA.com)  —  An Orange County couple came out of Joe’s Crab Shack on West Coast Highway Saturday night after enjoying their meal.

But when Josh Gelle and his girlfriend went to the valet they got a horrible surprise.

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It has to be every driver’s worst nightmare. The valet gave their car away.

“Our first reaction,” says Gelle, “was ‘Where’s the hidden camera?’ We’re looking around. You’re kidding.'”

The valet — affiliated with the parking lot and not the restaurant — wasn’t kidding.

“We gave the [valet] the ticket and the five dollars and they walked away thinking they’re gonna go get our car. A couple minutes later the valet came up to us, we don’t know how tell you this, but we gave your car away,” says Gelle.

“I’m still in shock,” said girlfriend Joe Abadie.

Both Gelle and Abadie told KCAL9’s Stacey Butler they were stunned that that his 2014 Mazda CX-9 was just given away.

When they got the news, she pulled out her cellphone and started filming.

“You just gave it to him?” she says.

“I didn’t give it to him,” says the valet.

“Who gave it to him?,” Abadie says.

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“The other guy that’s not here anymore,” says the valet.

Abadie says a man with an Ohio State tattoo came up to them and claimed he was the car’s owner and that he didn’t have his ticket.

After the valet tells the couple they are doing “everything” they can to get the car back, Abadie asks if they have ever given someone a car without having a ticket before?

“Not here that I know of,” says the valet.

“That’s not normal protocol, right?,” she asks.

“No! Not at all,” the valet says.

“It seemed odd that they sent home the one guy that was responsible for giving the keys away and that they didn’t hold him there, until the police got there,” Abadie says.

The frustrated car owner just wants something to be done.

“I just want to be made whole, I didn’t do anything wrong here, they gave the car away,” says Gelle.

He told Butler the valet company has given him a rental car but also said he should file a claim with his insurance company.

Butler reached out to LAZ Parking for a comment.

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They said, “The safety and the service of us customers is of the utmost priority. We take this incident seriously and once we have all the facts, we will act accordingly.”