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Caught On Camera: Parking Attendants Near LAX Take Money, Other Items From Cars

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — If you're like most people, you don't want to pay the exorbitant fees for parking at Los Angeles International Airport, so you valet at one of the many lots surrounding the airport and take a shuttle.

CBS2 Investigative Reporter David Goldstein set up a car with hidden cameras to find out what happens after you leave yours.

Here is the full script of his report:

"Come on, come on, come on, come on! Out, out!"

This parking attendant put his hand on our camera.

After our undercover cameras caught "him" red-handed.

"Look at that! Look at that! You're taking money right there!"

"That's bull****, that is bull****."

"It is not!"

When you park your car at lots near LAX, employees know it'll be there a while.

So when you come back, some of your belongings may be gone.

"I had all these things stolen out of my car."

That's what happened to Chance Rearden in January.

"This is where the theft took place."

He showed us his car and spoke with us on Facetime from Washington state.

"It's like here I am paying them money to store my car and, you know, and then they're ripping me off on top of it."

Rearden valet parked his car at Sam's parking near LAX.

"Show you this."

When he returned three days later and opened the center console, he claims money, earbuds and a flashlight were missing.

"Was your car broken into?

No, because they had the key."

He's not alone. We found dozens of complaints online about items stolen from cars at many parking lots near LAX.

So we installed seven hidden cameras in our undercover car.

And left some money in the center compartment.

Our undercover producer then valet parked it at various lots near the airport.

At the Parking Space on La Cienega, she left the car.

You can see the attendant drive it to the indoor lot. He never touches the money.

But when another attendant got in to deliver the car when she came back, the first thing he does is look in the center console. Then he flicks open the middle compartment and finds our money.

He starts going through the bills, eventually setting some down and putting the rest back.

You can see him deliver the car, and afterward we find a few dollars missing.

"This is one of your employees."

We showed the video to the manager Walter Bolanos.

"What do you think of what you see here?"

"I'm telling you. This is totally, totally wrong."

"Tt's theft!"

"It's totally wrong."

Another day, we parked at Sam's parking on 96th Street. That's the same lot where Chance Rearden had his items stolen.

Our surveillance camera catches the attendant get in the car.

Inside, you see him sit down and start it up. After he adjusts the seat, he  finds our money and proceeds to count it out.

He closes the door and counts it again. But then puts it back.

As he pulls out of the spot, he gets on his phone. There's no sound so we don't know what's being said. But at one point he stops and puts the phone down and counts the money again! But again puts it back. Later we showed it to the manager Sean Shilleh.

"Is this suspicious?"


"That he counts it twice?

And then puts it back."

Was he notifying a fellow employee? When we went to pick the car up another, attendant gets in and within seconds reaches for the money as if he knew it was there.

He raises his eyebrows as he looks at the bills.

Then pulls out a $20.

A $5. And another $5.

He puts the rest of the money back.

Then folds up his new-found cash and stuffs our money it in his jacket.

"I'm David Goldstein with CBS2 News. Can i show you some video a second, sir?"

"Excuse me, no. No. No."

A few weeks later, we confronted the man who denied it was him, even though he was wearing the same orange shirt.

"That's not you?"


"That's not you?"


"Who is it?"

"I not take nothing from nobody!"

"It's not you? You're wearing the same shirt! How can you say it's not you?"

"Doesn't matter! Go! Go!"

And we also realized he was the same attendant who took the money from our car at the Parking Space as well!

But he wasn't interested in looking at the evidence.

"Come on, man! Go, go! I said go!"

"Why don't you want to look at it? Why don't you want to look at it?"

"I don't want to look at you, either! Why should you taking my picture for? Come on!"

"Come on, come on, come on, come on! Out, out!"

"Hey! Let go of the camera!"

"Come on."

"So what do you think of that?"

"It's a shame. It really is."

The manager says he never suspected the man was stealing.

"Thank you for that because it alerts us. Keeps us on our toes"

Stealing money wasn't the only thing we caught with our undercover cameras.

This attendant seemed to be more focused on his phone than the road. Check out his eyes in the rearview mirror looking down as he drives our car for about five minutes to a parking spot.

This guy sat in our car for almost six minutes after he parked it, just looking at his phone.

And this attendant found our money. We thought he was going to steal it, but it turns out he put it in the center console, perhaps for safe keeping.

But, of course, not everyone was as honest as him.

"You're stealing money out of the car!"

"No! Forget it, don't talk to me!"

Experts say that even if it's just small items that are missing, file a complaint with the parking lot manager and the police as well.

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