Driver shocked when he sees what happened to car left parked at Seattle area airport

Posted at 6:36 AM, May 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-09 06:36:26-04

SEATAC, Wash.  -- A driver returned to the Sea-Tac Airport parking garage near Seattle Washington Wednesday night and found something shocking,  all four of his wheels and tires had been stolen right off his car.

“It’s still sitting there because I’m dealing with how I get the car out of there.”

Jason Cole is home in Auburn Washington now. But his car is still in Sea-Tac, because there’s no way to drive it. While he was away on a business trip, someone stole his wheels and left his car up on jacks.

“You’re thinking there are a lot of cars around and a lot of people, it's pretty secure in there. You do pay a lot of money to park your car there.”

The Port of Seattle Police patrol the airport garage, and there are some surveillance cameras. But airport officials tell us crime does still happen.

“We’ve had 2.4 million cars last year go through our garage,” says airport spokesman Perry Cooper. “This year, we've only had 35 car prowls. So that's a fraction of 1  percent. Unfortunately if it's your car, you don't care what that small percentage is.”

Cole is frustrated that he wasn’t contacted right when the theft was discovered.

“Not a lot of phone numbers are connected with license plate numbers,” explains Cooper. “So for most of these situations, we have to wait for that person to come back.”

“They could have handled it differently, maybe paid for my parking or offered something like that,” says Cole, who paid more than $100 to leave his car in the garage for three days.

There are signs in the garage that warn drivers to lock their doors. But many say this kind of crime is different.

“I know I’m responsible for stuff stolen out of my car,” says Michael Santiago. “But something this atrocious, you have to imagine they have to have some responsibility.”

He is now wondering if he should park somewhere else the next time he flies out.

“I thought about it. I've got a totally non-sexy electric vehicle, so I don't have too much of a fear. But it does give you pause.”

Cole says he probably won’t take the chance in the garage again.

“For everybody out there that parks there, hopefully the security will get better and they'll rectify it. But when you do park there, just know that there's a risk.”

Port of Seattle Police think this theft happened sometime Sunday.