A Mill Valley man was arrested on allegations he took a Mercedes for a spin after telling a Sausalito hotel valet that he was the owner.
Edward Emil Boracchia, 29, was booked into Marin County Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft and drug possession. His bail was set at $25,000.
The incident occurred at about 12:15 a.m. Sunday at the Casa Madrona Hotel and Spa on Bridgeway. Police said a man exited the restaurant and hotel, walked up to a parking attendant and said a nearby 2003 Mercedes C23 was his car.
The attendant gave the man the keys, and the man drove off. He returned a short time later as the actual owners of the Mercedes were coming out to get the car, said Sausalito police Sgt. Bill Fraass.
The suspect gave the keys to the owners. The owners, thinking the suspect himself was a valet, tried to tip him, but he declined the money, according to Fraass.
The suspect walked away and the hotel called police. Police found Boracchia walking near Johnson Street and identified him as the suspect.
"I don't know what what he was thinking," Fraass said.
Police also found four codeine pills in Boracchia's possession for which he had no proof of a prescription.
A hotel employee said the person who gave the suspect the keys was a night auditor at the hotel, not a member of the valet staff that works outside during the day and evening.
Last August, Boracchia pleaded to felony drug possession and a public intoxication
charge was dismissed, according to the district attorney's office. In January, he was granted an extension to complete a drug education program, but during a status hearing last week, the prosecution reported that he had failed a drug test.