Hotel guest hands her car keys to parking valet and the car goes MIA

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Parking the car was one of the last things on Colleen Weishaupt’s mind as she was checking into a downtown hotel on the morning of her daughter’s wedding, September 30.

Moms and dads of the bride can sometimes overlook a few of the minor details on the wedding day such as, is the valet who is parking your car, really a valet, or a car thief?

Even worse, Colleen said she could not remember what he looked like, “I went up to the valet and he handed me a claim check, I handed my keys over,” and that would be the last time Weishaupt would see her car for three days.

Colleen and her husband Ed were joining the rest of their daughter’s wedding party at the hotel, and at the end of the night, when Colleen returned to the hotel’s valet stand to get her Kia, the valets could not find the keys.

“The one valet went over to the secured parking lot behind the hotel, and could not find the car,” recalled Colleen. “He came back, and then I went over with the valet–my sister went with me. We all looked in the parking lot, could not find the car at all.”

The Weishaupts called Buffalo police, and as it turns out, nearby surveillance cameras indictated Colleen’s Kia never made it to the hotel’s secured parking lot.

Ed believed that removed any doubt Colleen’s car was stolen, “By the act of them not having the cameras showing the car made it in the lot, plus we have the claim ticket, it just did not add up, it didn’t make sense.”

The Weishaupts contacted Call 4 Action first thing the following Monday, and within hours, the car was located a few blocks away intact–nothing of value was missing. But Colleen said a lot more could have been missing, “They found our car on Delaware Avenue, sitting there. It had the [key] in the ignition, and it was unlocked, which meant anybody walking by could have stolen it again.”

For the Weishaupts, the most important lesson learned was making sure you know who you are turning your car over to, and Ed said it can save a lot of trouble.

“It can frustrate you, and brings fear because all your keys are gone and where is your car–are you going to get your car back? Then you’ve got to deal with the insurance. It can be extremely frustrating.”

Buffalo police are investigating, but so far, no one has been arrested, and even the Weishaupts had to get the locks on changed at their home because Colleen only got back one of her keys, they also realize the ending to this incident could have been a lot worse.

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