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Thieves steal cars left with valets, car washers in the West Loop

CHICAGO — Police say at least six cars have been stolen since the end of February on the Near West Side, including several that were left with restaurant valets.

Police say cars have been targeted outside of City Winery, Alahambra Palace, and a nearby car wash.

Workers at the car wash say a car was taken while it was being dried off Monday.

Photos taken from security cameras show a young black male in a hoodie walking down Randolph before, neighbors say, he approaches a Dodge Durango down the street. Pretending like he’s talking on his phone, he gets into the car and drives it away.

Neighbors say they have asked police to step up patrols, especially in the evening when the area is busiest. Most of these cars were stolen around 7 p.m., police say, right when people are heading to dinner.

“At night there’s a lot of foot traffic here and right in between these two facilities, the winery and Alahambra, they have a lot of late night concerts and parties so there is a lot of street traffic, a lot of valet parking. I mean there could be a thousand people out here sometimes at night,” said Tom Schuster, who works nearby at New Dairy.

An investigation is underway.