‘Stolen’ Subaru returned the next day with a bizarre explanation and gas money

2001 Subaru Impreza
A 2001 Subaru Impreza much like Erin Hatzi's Mr.choppers/Wikipedia
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.


Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Smart Home

Idaho mother says her child’s light-up sippy cup exploded

After a mother filled a Nuby insulated light-up cup with milk, the cup allegedly exploded. The incident caused burns to the mother's hand and face and a stinging sensation in her lungs that required a trip to the hospital.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.