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Cornwall woman takes vehicle for accidental, two-week joyride

12 July 2018

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.

The saga began this past June when a woman from Cornwall, ON, which is about an hour west of Montreal, rented a black Nissan Sentra from a vehicle rental company. The mix-up happened after the female motorist accidentally got into a similar looking auto - a black Infiniti, after completing her shopping at Wal-Mart. Upon exiting the store, she climbed in a black Nissan - the vehicle was open and the key's were in the ignition - and drove home.

In Cornwall, Ont., the where-the-hell-did-I-park scenario took on a unusual and novel twist recently, after a black Nissan Infiniti, that was reported missing from a Walmart parking lot in late June, was found when a woman tried to return it to a local vehicle rental company.

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It was the manager at the vehicle rental company who finally pieced together what had happened.

And it wasn't until this past weekend when the woman returned the vehicle to the same auto rental company that the manager pieced the entire situation together and realized what had happened. The owner of the stolen Infiniti, an elderly man, had accidently left his key fob in the vehicle.

"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. When the woman who stole the auto tried to return the vehicle, the manager realized what happened. And she didn't realize her mistake for another two weeks.

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At first, he tried to tell her that the company didn't even rent that model - but she was having none of it.

The woman was then brought to the Walmart parking lot, where the vehicle she had actually rented was still parked.

MacKay said he has been an officer for 11 years and has never experienced anything like this, but is glad that it had 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. Constable Tommy MacKay who dealt with the incident said the man who owned the stolen Infiniti had a good laugh about it and the woman who stole it was embarrassed. Cue a phone call to police and, soon after, a happy reunion between a vehicle whose rightful owner believed it had been stolen, instead of borrowed by mistake.

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Cornwall woman takes vehicle for accidental, two-week joyride