Woman unnerved after valet takes car from Columbia Airport

Woman unnerved after valet takes car from Columbia Airport

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A 27-year-old Columbia man turned himself in Monday after taking a woman’s car from Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

Shaquvis Marquise Darnell Dev Smith made an appearance in court for his bond hearing at the Lexington County Detention Center. He is charged with using a vehicle without permission.

According to the incident report, the Columbia Metropolitan Airport Department of Public Safety responded to the Republic Parking valet booth regarding the complaint from Joyce Johnson stating that her car was gone.

Johnson said, on July 9, she valet parked her 2008 Toyota 4Runner at Columbia Metropolitan Airport. The incident report stated, when Johnson returned a day later, Republic Parking employees advised her that they could not locate her car.

Johnson said the search for her car was grueling.

"It lasted four hours," she said. "I was ready to go home. I was tired and it was like 90-plus degrees."

According to the incident report, Smith told authorities he parked the vehicle and said that he thought he parked it in the garage but would find it when he arrived.

According to the officer, Smith “knew what he had done and he'd been driving this lady's car while she was on her trip."

"And, that's at the point I started crying," Johnson recalled. "I don't let anyone drive my car. I don't let anyone hold my key for my car."

After lots of questioning, Johnson said Lieutenant Mickey Cooke connected the clues from the Republic Parking employee.

"Where my keys should have been, he put his key. So when they called this guy, he told them that he had mistakenly left the keys in his pocket and took them home," Johnson said, "and Officer Cooke said he has something for him, he has her car, he was like so excited about it and he went out on the road and just watched and waited for the guy to come through the airport, and low and behold he came up in my car."

Johnson decided to press charges against Smith because this was a well-thought-out crime and Smith needs to learn his lesson.

"Where I left it in the valet company's trust that you would take care of my personal property," Johnson said, "and your employee decided he would do something else. Instead of parking my car, he drove off in it."

Smith was issued an $8,000 personal recognizance bond and is due back in court on August 29.

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