My name is Caleb King. I am a comic book writer and illustrator. I have been touring the convention circuit, promoting and selling my work since 2009. I have been to New York, Chicago, New Orleans, California, Winnipeg, Columbus, and countless others. In all that time, I have never been stolen from or had damage done to my belongings, or to those of my traveling companions.
That has officially ended.
This is what it looks like when your vehicle is vandalized in a “secure and safe” parking garage. The morning of May 4th, 2014, my partner Carla (@carlawyzgala), our friend Samantha (@krakenprint), and I checked out of our hotel room and dropped off our bags in the trunk of my Kia Borrego. We were staying at the Hyatt Place Minneapolis Hotel. After dropping our bags off, we left the garage on foot and headed off to the Minneapolis Comic Con to work for the day. Upon my return that evening at 5:20-ish, I noticed my rear passenger window was smashed in, and Sam’s bag (containing her laptop) was stolen. No other damage was done, and no other bags were taken. The situation was heartbreaking, and I felt violated. If you’ve ever been stolen from, you know what I mean. I reported the incident to the hotel and filled out a report with them. They refused any responsibility for the event seeing as they do not own the garage where I parked. They did mention to me that the hotel had been putting pressure on the garage to increase their security. Something has obviously been going on that they are not telling their guests.
I went to the offices of the parking garage company - MinneapolisParking.Com - and informed them of the situation. They immediately responded with “we think we know who did it. We’ve been trying to catch him for a while. Don’t worry, we’ll take care of it.” They then told me to call 911 and report it to the police. I told them I wanted to fill out a report with them to document the incident, but they did everything they could to dissuade me from doing so, eventually saying it wouldn’t even get looked at. Let me reiterate: the parking garage refused to take a report of the break-in and theft of belongings from my vehicle on their property. The manager of the facility, a guy who could have been mistaken as Jerry Garcia, acted like this entire encounter was my fault and that I should have parked somewhere else. Yeah. It’s my fault alright. My fault that I trusted their “safe and secure” parking facility.
Even thought they have a posted disclaimer of their lack of liability in their terms and conditions, #8 stipulates that they are responsible for negligence that leads to damages as protected under law. If the garage’s management knew about a vandal and thief stalking vehicles in their garage, then why wasn’t there a posted security officer in the garage at all times? Why weren’t there more than a single security camera visible within 100 feet of my vehicle? Why did they admit that there was a problem at all? Why not simply plead ignorance or give me a pat answer like “we’ll investigate it and get back to you”? Why was all of this known and nothing done to prevent future attacks? Why?
I think the employees themselves are the ones vandalizing the cars.
The more my companions and I talked over the details of the event, the more we had a weird feeling about the response of the garage staff. Their immediate confession of this “garage vandal” and how they were attempting to catch him. The refusal to have me fill out a report of the incident. The general dismissal of the situation. All of it is pointing to an inside job.
I simply want my window repaired, and my friend’s laptop replaced. I’m not being unreasonable or greedy. I merely want them to understand that there is an issue of safety and security that is being ignored by both MinneapolisParking, and the Hyatt Place Minneapolis Hotel. The hotel should give the guest fair warning about the crime that has been happening as of late, and the garage should be working overtime to improve the situation. I blame both institutions for this issue. Gross criminal negligence. Had I known of the recent and continuous criminal activity in their garage, I would have parked elsewhere. Apparently MinneapolisParking cares more about their bottom line than the safety and security of their customers.
Should you share my outrage with this situation and the lack of concern on the part of the employees of MinneapolisParking, feel free to tell at them via
Twitter: @MplsPkngTeam. Also, tag me in your post - @caleb_king.
If you feel like blasting them on Facebook, visit their site and give them an awful rating!