West Orange police are investigating a series of car thefts from the parking lot of The Manor Restaurant believed to have been carried out by a group of men witnesses say they saw parked in a nearby driveway, officials said.
According to police, a valet at the restaurant, located at 111 Prospect Ave., reported seeing at least three men in a gray 2007 Acura TL on Saturday, Jan. 12 in the upper parking lot adjacent to the entrance of the driveway near the restaurant.
The valet said the men quickly fled the area in their car as well as a white 2003 Mercedes Benz with vanity plates they allegedly stole from the upper parking lot.
Police said the men fled north on Prospect Avenue while the valet contacted police.
West Orange police pursued the men after seeing the car on Route 280 East before the fleeing car exited at the First Street exit in Newark. At this point, police said, officers lost sight of the car and stopped the pursuit.
A police check of the gray Acura revealed the car had been carjacked in Newark.
Further investigation revealed the car thieves walked into the unlocked valet booth and stole the keys. There were no video surveillance cameras, police reported.
About 45 minutes later, West Orange police said, two separate guests at the restaurant reported their car keys were missing from the valet booth.
Police located the cars, described as a Kia and a Pontiac G6, but the keys, valued at $100 each, were not found.