What started out as a routine auto rental turned into a lesson about the importance of not leaving electronic key fobs in unoccupied vehicles, according to police in Cornwall, Ont.
Cornwall police say she drove the rented black Nissan Sentra sedan to a nearby Walmart to pick up some groceries, but upon exiting the store she got into a black Infiniti QX50 luxury SUV parked nearby instead.
Though police say there was a "happy and amusing ending to this story", they say it serves as a flawless reminder not to leave key fobs in unattended vehicles.
The first hint of the swap came last weekend, when she attempted to return the auto to the rental company. The manager of the vehicle rental agency then realized what happened as the man whose auto had been stolen had come into the same Enterprise to rent a replacement.
The woman then proceeded to drive the vehicle around for a full two weeks, using the Infiniti for her regular activities.
"In conversation with the manager of that establishment it came out that he was the owner of a black Infiniti that was recently stolen", MacKay said.
The woman drove the vehicle around for two weeks, then tried to return it to the rental auto company, police say. After convincing her that the vehicle was not the one she had taken from the lot, they worked to trace her steps over the past two weeks.
At first, he tried to tell her that the company didn't even rent that model - but she was having none of it. After all, she had no inkling she'd stolen the vehicle she was driving.
There were no official charges so this story has a happy ending. She also said there were papers in the glove compartment and a dirty ashtray, but it still wasn't enough to tip her off.
It can happen out there, amid life's hustle and bustle, when you are in a rush and your mind is in a million different places, and you park your vehicle, for instance, in an underground parking lot, and return some time later, after running an errand, and realize you have no recollection as to where you actually parked the auto in the first place.
Since the Infiniti owner had reported his vehicle stolen, the police were able to track him down and return the auto. The agent then called the police to tell them what happened.