COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A man posing as a River North parking lot attendant gave a suburban woman a claim ticket and then drove off with her luxury SUV on Monday, authorities said.
To add insult to larceny, Tony Taylor then tried to return several Nordstrom packages he found in the Deerfield woman's 2011 Lincoln MKX. But he was thwarted by workers at the department store, who called police, authorities said.
Taylor was held at the store, arrested and later charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, authorities said.
"The miracle is that I have my car back it one piece," said the victim. "It reeked of cigarettes, but I don't even care."
The woman came Downtown Monday for a meeting and decided to park in a self-park city lot at 401 W. Chicago Ave. That's when Taylor pretended to work at the lot, authorities said.
He charged her $8 and gave her a claim ticket before getting into the driver's seat. When the woman returned a short time later, the SUV was gone, authorities said.
Soon after she reported it stolen, the woman got a call from the Nordstrom on the Mag Mile, where employees had detained Taylor for trying to return the gifts he found in the car, authorities said.
The victim then went to Nordstrom, 55 E. Grand Ave., and identified Taylor as the man who took her car, she said.
"We all know that Nordstrom has a reputation for having great customer assistance, but this is really above and beyond," the woman said Tuesday, as she was halfway through a thank-you note to Nordstrom's corporate office. "They are obviously trained."
The whole experience, she said, was surprisingly pleasant.
"I was a little crazed," she said. "The two policewomen who helped me, they were really incredible."
A Cook County judge ordered Taylor held on $150,000 bond when he appeared Tuesday for a brief court hearing.