by: Scott Wickersham Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Rock Hill man said someone stole a loaded gun from his car while it was parked at the business valet deck at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
The alleged crime comes just weeks after a new valet company took over.
The airport made Park Inc. leave a month before its contract was up because of a long history of thefts from vehicles and workers taking joyrides in cars.
AmeriPark hired some Park Inc. workers and has only been in charge for a month, but the same problem is resurfacing.
A traveler returned to his car on Tuesday at the business valet deck and said someone stole a gun from inside the vehicle.
The report said it was a Ruger 38-caliber handgun loaded with five rounds of ammunition worth $400.
It doesn't say if the car was locked or if it was parked by the traveler or a valet at curbside.
“It seems like there is a lot of security and a lot of people,” said Cheryl Rosso, a traveler. “I am sort of shocked.”
Another traveler, Linda Ramsey, said, “I’ve left shopping items, electronics and never had an issue.”
AmeriPark took over the valet service in June and promised to use tracking devices on employees and customers’ keys to better secure vehicles and valuables.
It’s not clear if that technology is working yet or could have prevented this theft.
The previous valet company complained about a lack of security cameras at the deck.
The airport would not comment on security issues, including whether any cameras are going to be installed.
While she's had no problems, Ramsey questions people who leave expensive items or dangerous ones like guns in their cars at the airport.
“I don’t know why you would bring a gun to a place like this. That is a bigger issue,” Ramsey said.
An AmeriPark manager did not return phone calls from Eyewitness News and a worker at the valet desk hung up on anchor Scott Wickersham.
The airport's response is that AmeriPark reported the incident to police quickly and is working with investigators.