Confused Mom Accidentally Steals Woman’s Car

Emilee Hickert was dismayed when she returned from a brunch to discover that her car was missing. She assumed it had been stolen. "It was utter disbelief," said Emilee, who works at The Stir's parent company CafeMom. "I was sure that was where I had parked it, so I knew it must have been stolen." But what really happened is a lot weirder.


Emilee called the police, and while waiting for them to arrive, she realized there was a business nearby that had surveillance cameras. She went in and asked to see their videotape, hoping it might show who took her car. What she saw astonished her.

She saw a person take about 40 seconds to get into her car and drive it casually away. Oddly, Emilee was pretty sure that the "car thief" was an older woman. "I thought she must be part of a professional car stealing ring," she says. "The only reason to steal an old car is for parts. I thought she went straight to a chop shop. I thought maybe it made sense that it was an older woman, that someone like that was more incognito."

But the truth was stranger than fiction.

In the same Brooklyn neighborhood was a 55-year-old woman named Cheryl Thorpe, who was house sitting for her daughter, Nekisia Davis, while she went on vacation with some friends. Her two tasks were to pet sit and move Davis's and her friends' cars while they were away. (New Yorkers must move their cars every couple of days to avoid being ticketed.)

Thorpe had gotten into what she thought was her daughter's friend's 1993 green Honda Civic and drove it a block south. What she didn't realize was that she had gotten into a stranger's car -- and the key just happened to work on it. 

When Davis returned home and found that Davis's friend's car was exactly where it had been parked -- and not moved as her mother had claimed -- she realized that her mom must have moved someone else's car. 

Davis reported what happened to the police -- but says they didn't believe her and refused to file a report. So she put up signs with a picture of the car saying:

Do you know whose car this is? ... I didn't steal your car but I think my mom may have. It's a long story.

Luckily, a reporter happened to see the somewhat comical signs and called the police looking for a story. The police put two and two together and called Emilee.

Emilee realized the green Honda Accord in the poster was hers. She called Davis and went to get her car, which had since been towed.

Davis offered to reimburse Emilee the tow fees, but Emilee declined, just happy to have her car back.

Can you believe that?! Your car is "stolen" accidentally -- by someone who happens to have a key that works for it!

The carmaker Honda pooh-pooh'd the incident, telling the New York Post that this kind of thing was so rare it was like finding "a needle in a haystack" and insisting that it only happened because both cars were so old -- that this wouldn't happen with modern day keys. Small comfort, Honda!

The important thing is that Emilee got her car back and her faith in humanity is restored. But let's hope that's the only key that works on Emilee's car.

Have you ever wondered if a stranger's key would start your car?


Image via Instagram

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