Bogus parking attendants eyed in series of Loop auto thefts

The parking lot at Wabash and 9th streets in the Loop. | Google

Police are warning about a series of auto thefts from Loop parking lots over the past month — including at least one in which the offender posed as a lot attendant. All of the thefts have taken place on parking lots in the 800 and 900 blocks of South Wabash.

Last Thursday, CWBChicago reported an auto thief wore a reflective safety vest and posed as a parking lot attendant to steal a 42-year-old woman’s car from a lot in the 900 block of South Wabash around 8 a.m. on October 21.

The man told the woman where to park, instructed her to leave her keys in the car, and hen apparently stole the 2008 silver Nissan Armada while she attended to business nearby, a police spokesperson said.

Now, police say six other cars have been stolen or damaged while parked on that lot or another one that’s nearby. Sometimes, the vehicles remain on the lot, but items are missing from inside, police said.

Cases were reported on lots in the 800 block of South Wabash on September 25, between September 30 and October 1, twice between October 6 and October 7, and once on October 8. In addition to the previously-mentioned case, another incident was reported on the 900 block of South Wabash between October 8 and 9, according to CPD’s alert.

The phony lot attendant was a Black male in his early- to mid-30’s who wore black dress pants, black dress shoes, a black and white winter cap, and a neon yellow-green safety vest, police said.

So-called roving “attendants” are more likely to be scammers, police said. Genuine lot employees are more likely to stay in a parking booth than walk around the property.

Police encouraged drivers to closely examine parking lot signs that explain payment arrangements and fees. 

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is