Erin Hatzi’s stomach dropped. It was a typical Tuesday night in Portland, Oregon, but after her husband discovered that her car was missing from the driveway, this particular Tuesday got a whole lot worse.
A chemotherapy nurse, Hatzi uses her 2001 Subaru Impreza to get to work each day, so she immediately called the police to file a report and hopefully get her ride back. Then, a light bulb went off. The couple had a security system installed in their home, and it included a camera pointed right at their parking space. This was their chance to catch the thief red-handed.
Upon reviewing the film, things looked a little strange. A woman walked up to the car at about 7 p.m., got inside, and let the car warm up before casually driving away.
“It seemed very odd,” Hatzi told the Portland Patch. “Not typical thief behavior.” As it turns out, the “theft” was just a big misunderstanding.
The next morning, Hatzi’s husband went outside to find two police officers arresting a woman, and the red Subie was there safe and sound. The woman explained that she never intended to steal the car, rather she sent a friend to pick up her vehicle — also a red Subaru — from the same area the previous night, and she didn’t see it until the following morning. According to police, many old cars have interchangeable keys, and it just so happened Hatzi’s Impreza was compatible with the accidental thief’s.
Hatzi and the police were expectedly suspicious at first, right up until the moment they saw the apologetic note inside the Subaru alongside $30 for gas money. With the video footage providing further evidence, the woman was allowed to leave with a bizarre story to tell but no criminal charges.
“I was pretty angry at first,” Hatzi said. “Now I’m relieved and very amused.”
Only in Portland.