On Thursday, Jan. 12, at 8:32 p.m. officers of the Santa Monica Police Department were called to Le Merigot Luxury Hotel located at 1740 Ocean Avenue in order to investigate a vehicle burglary.
When they arrived they spoke with the victims; a couple that was staying at the hotel on vacation. They told the officers that the previous evening they had returned to the hotel and handed their car over to the valet so that it could be parked.
They then went to their room for the night. The car contained $4,700 in cash that was placed (securely?) in the center console of the vehicle. The next morning they went to retrieve their vehicle, and the same valet who had parked it the previous evening returned it to them.
They got into the car and noticed the $4,700 dollars in cash had been transformed into zero dollars in cash. The victims called the police and asked the valet to stay with them until the police arrived. The officers arrived, and after hearing the story about the $4,700, they asked the valet if they could search him, and his own vehicle.
The officers discovered that the valet had $4,700 hidden in his own car (a coincidence?) and then questioned the valet. The valet told them he had some money problems (he certainly does now!) and that was why he had taken the $4,700.
The valet, aged 24 and a resident of Los Angeles was arrested, parked in a cell, and charged with grand theft. His bail was set at $20,000.
Editor’s Note: These reports are part of a regular police coverage series entitled “Alert Police Blotter” (APB), which injects some minor editorial into certain police activities in Santa Monica. Not all of the Mirror’s coverage of incidents involving police are portrayed in this manner. More serious crimes and police-related activities are regularly reported without editorial in the pages of the Santa Monica Mirror and its website, smmirror.com.