Crown Melbourne Faces Lawsuit As Thief Steals McLaren from Valet Parking

Posted on: May 25, 2022, 05:33h. 

Last updated on: May 25, 2022, 11:16h.

Crown Resorts is dealing with a lot of legal headaches right now, but is going to add one more. Australia’s 9News reports that the casino operator faces a lawsuit following the theft of a McLaren sports car from its Crown Melbourne venue.

McLaren 570s
A McLaren 570s, a popular high-end sports car. A thief made off with a similar one from the Crown Melbourne casino in Australia, leading to a lawsuit against the casino. (Image: Patrick Karam)

Earlier this week, Johnny Nahlous was ready for a night of luxurious entertainment. Taking a McLaren 570S to Crown Melbourne, he enjoyed the casino’s gambling action and amenities until he was ready to leave the following morning. However, when he tried to retrieve the sports car, it wasn’t there.

The valet told Nahlous that someone – allegedly with the credentials to convince the employee – had retrieved the AU$500,000 (US$354,200) car at 3 in the morning. This was in spite of the fact that Nahlous still had the valet stub in his possession.

Tracking Down the Culprit

Nahlous, whose heart must have now been firmly planted in his stomach, and Crown contact the police. With the help of Honeymoon Car Hire, from whom Nahlous rented the vehicle, they were able to determine the McLaren’s location.

A short time later, with Nahlous close behind, police stopped the vehicle. They arrested a 43-year-old man they assume is the thief, charging him with motor vehicle theft. The unidentified man made bail and will return to court on October 17 to learn his fate.

However, the story doesn’t end there. In the short time the thief had the car in his possession, he managed to tear it up pretty good. Honeymoon discovered damage to the interior and the motor, and wants Crown to pay. It is considering a lawsuit to cover the damage.

At the same time, questions arose over how the crime occurred. An investigation is underway to determine how the Crown employee could have irresponsibly turned over the luxury vehicle to someone when Nahlous still had the valet stub.

Not a First for Crown

This isn’t the first time a luxury vehicle suddenly disappeared at Crown Melbourne. Fortunately, it’s not an everyday occurrence. In 2010, according to Drive magazine, Adam Ramsay stole a Ferrari F430 Spider from the parking lot using the same modus operandi.

Ramsay reportedly did nothing more than walk up to the valet at 1:30 AM on May 14 and ask for the keys to the car, which was owned by a millionaire poker player. The employee handed them over and the thief headed out.

The story gets even wilder from there – much more exciting than the McLaren escapade. Ramsay took the vehicle to a nearby police station. There, he reported to police as part of the conditions of his bail from a previous crime. After checking in, he left the station, hopped into the Ferrari and took off.

However, with the theft now on the police wires, his run soon came to an end. At 6:30 AM that same morning, police spotted him as he was fueling the vehicle at a gas station. They quickly put the cuffs on him.

The McLaren thief may now know what’s in store for him when he appears in court in October. For his theft, Ramsay received a four-month sentence. However, that was a concurrent sentence running alongside a larger 35-month sentence for other crimes.