Police believe it was the work of professional thieves
NEWBURY TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A vacation for a family from a small rural town in Geauga County was ruined when their 2004 Chevrolet Suburban was stolen from a hotel parking lot in Niagara Falls.
The Hall family said a valet at the Marriott instructed them where to park their vehicle, which was hauling a couple of four-wheelers on a trailer.
"I said 'Is it going to be safe?' I asked those questions, and they said 'Absolutely. There are cameras. There is somebody on duty all the time,' " said Judy Hall.
After parking the vehicle, they had a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant, only to return to the lot 45 minutes later and discover their vehicle was missing.
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"Everything was gone. There wasn't even a piece of glass. Nothing," said Mike Hall.
Hall's son, Michael Jr., feels the hotel should be held responsible.
"Security cameras could not see that area of the parking lot at all," Hall said.
WKYC reached out to the Marriott, but they declined comment.
The Halls say thieves made off with an estimated $60,000 in valuables. In addition to the vehicle and the ATVs, there were clothes, children's birthday presents, fishing rods and other recreational equipment.
Police believe it was the work of professional thieves. Organized theft rings have been known to work the Golden Horseshoe area. Police say they usually look for higher-end SUVs. They say older models are especially easy to steal.
"It's a scary thing. It's so violating for anybody, and I don't want it to happen to anybody else," said Julie Randolph, the Halls' daughter.
Police recovered the stolen vehicle on a Canadian Indian reservation about 50 miles from where it was stolen. The vehicle was stripped of anything that was valuable, including tires, rims and airbags. Thieves set the vehicle on fire to destroy any evidence that might have been left behind.
Auto theft is a $600 million a year business in Ontario.
Follow The Investigator Tom Meyer on Twitter: @TomMeyerWKYC