PORTLAND, OR. – What seemed like a cut and dry case of car theft ended up being much more.
Erin Hatzi’s surveillance cameras caught a woman come up to Hatzi’s red Subaru, climb in and take off a few minutes later.
The apparent theft happened Tuesday night, right outside Hatzi’s driveway near Southeast 78th Avenue and Woodstock in Portland.
“We were really confused because it didn’t seem like the normal actions of a car thief,” Hatzi said. “You wouldn’t think they’d sit there in idle in the owner’s driveway for two or three minutes.”
Hatzi filed a police report. But it didn’t take long before she started getting answers.
Her husband was taking the garbage outside Wednesday afternoon when a Portland police officer had a woman stopped right outside Hatzi’s home. The woman had just gotten out of Hatzi’s red Subaru and left a note and some cash inside.
The note explained how the woman had gone to the area to pick up a friend’s red Subaru as a favor and ended up taking the wrong car. Hatzi posted the note on Facebook.
"Hello, So sorry I stole your car. I sent my friend with my key to pick up my red Subaru at 7802 SE Woodstock and she came back with your car. I did not see the car until this morning and I said, 'that is not my car.' There is some cash for gas and I more than apologize for the shock and upset this must have caused you. If you need to speak further, with me, I am ******* and my number is ..........So so sorry for this mistake."
It turns out older model Subaru keys sometimes work in different cars, according to police.
In the end, the right Subaru was a block away the whole time.
“It’s insane,” Hatzi said. “It’s like a bad sitcom that nobody would ever buy the story because it’s stupid and it makes no sense."
Hatzi said everyone involved parted ways happy, if a bit embarrassed.