A man heading to a hotel in Arlington, Virginia thought he was leaving his car with the hotel's valet service -- but a phony valet driver disappeared with his vehicle.
Louis Wolf was heading to a lunchtime meeting Wednesday afternoon at the Courtyard Marriott in Crystal City, but he couldn't find any parking nearby. He walks using a prosthetic leg and wanted to park close to the door.
He noticed a man standing near the entrance of the hotel at 2899 Jefferson Davis Highway.
"I said, 'Are you a valet parking person?' And he said 'Yes,'" Wolf said Thursday. "I said, 'Well, how much is it?' He said, '$15.'"
Perhaps feeling a twinge of guilt, the man told Wolf he could pay him later. Wolf handed over the keys to his black Toyota Prius and tipped the man $5.
He returned to retrieve his car a couple hours later.
“I don’t see him anywhere. I don’t see my car. And it all becomes clear to me real quick," Wolf said.
The hotel's front desk told him they don't offer valet service.
Wolf -- a baseball fan whose red prosthetic leg is printed with the Washington Nationals logo -- said he's kicking himself.
“I’m disappointed in myself for not realizing. But I’m also sad because that car my late wife and I bought new," he said.
A legit valet at a business nearby advised drivers only to use services where claim tickets are handed out, prices are printed and workers wear uniforms.
Now out of a car, his disability parking pass and his prescription glasses, Wolf had these words for the phony valet:
"You weren’t what you said you were, were ya?"