An armed car thief stole keys to a vehicle from a valet attendant Thursday and took the vehicle from a lot near Chicago’s South Loop, authorities said.
According to police, a man walked up to a parking booth just after 4 p.m. in the 800 block of South Plymouth and displayed a handgun at the 45-year-old man inside. The gunman then took a set of keys from the attendant and stole a Jeep out of the lot.
"He put the gun like, very close," said Steven Oudesho, who was inside the parking booth at the time.
Oudesho said the man who carjacked him was watching the lot and even asked to use a phone hours before the incident.
Shortly after the incident, the Jeep was later recovered in the 3800 block of West Maypole in the city's Garfield Park neighborhood, police said.
The carjacking comes within a week of an armed robbery just a few blocks away near Columbia College, and numerous other robberies throughout the South Loop that triggered Chicago police to put out a community alert.
The incident also happened just steps from the South Loop Montessori School.
“We are aware of the incident that took place in the South Loop this week,” Mahdi Dadrass, executive director of the school, said in a statement. “While we rely on the Chicago Police Department and continued leadership from Alderman Sophia King to maintain order — including a safe, peaceful environment for our students, staff and community in the South Loop — our school also adheres to strict protocol and utilizes state-of-the-art technology to ensure safety. Furthermore, we are extremely confident in our staff and measures that ensure a safe, peaceful environment where learning takes place.”
No one was in custody as of Friday morning, but Area Central Detectives are investigating.