A Mercedes Benz SL5 valued at approximately $200,000 that was taken from outside a Venice restaurant was recovered July 30 in the Arleta area, where a 20-year-old man was arrested in connection with the theft, Los Angeles police said.
The car was taken during the lunch hour by a suspect who allegedly entered it without permission when a valet attendant left it running for the owner outside a restaurant on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, police said.
The owner immediately reported the vehicle stolen and the OnStar system was activated. Patrol officers from the Los Angeles Police Department Van Nuys division were later alerted by the OnStar system and tracked the car to Arleta, near a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall.
Police watched the empty car for a while, but when the suspect approached the car he apparently noticed the presence of police and went into the VFW hall where detectives entered, an LAPD spokesperson said.
The suspect then left the hall and jumped a fence into a residential area, where he allegedly entered a home and dressed in the owner’s clothes, then hid under a woodpile, the spokesperson said.
Officers located the suspected car thief, identified as Dylan Coffey, and arrested him for burglary, police said.
“The owner was happy to hear her car was found, none the worse for wear, and we promised her we wouldn’t dirty the interior with print dust,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division.