Woman mistakenly takes other person’s car in Cornwall, error noticed two weeks later

Downtown Cornwall in spring 2018. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

CORNWALL — A woman accidentally swapped her rental car for another man’s ride in the Cornwall Walmart parking lot, unaware of the error until two weeks later when she “returned” the black Infiniti to the car-rental firm — only to be told it was the wrong vehicle.

The amusing anecdote has the Cornwall Community Police Service (CCPS) reminding drivers not to leave electronic key fobs sitting in their unattended vehicles. In a Facebook post with already hundreds of shares, the CCPS recounts how the woman rented a black Nissan Sentra but hopped into the unlocked, ready-to-start Infiniti after shopping at the local store. She drove away, leaving the Nissan behind and going about life with her “rental” car for two weeks in June.

Upon return to the company, she complained about the vehicle’s unkempt interior, including the golf clubs inside. The “slightly confused” manager looked at the Infiniti keys and informed her it wasn’t the black car she had rented. They retraced her path back to the Walmart where the Sentra was found in the spot where the “wee bit embarrassed” woman had parked it.

Then they contacted the city police force, which confirmed the Infiniti was listed as stolen, as reported by the owner. He was reunited with his vehicle in a “happy and funny” conclusion to the almost unbelievable switcheroo.

“Folks, we just can’t make this stuff up!” the CCPS observes, also noting the “moral of the story”: Never leave a key fob in a vehicle unless it’s being operated. “You never know who might take it!”

Many vehicles now “feature” push-button start with a portable electronic fob sitting in the console — more convenient to be sure, but obviously much easier to forget about than a set of old-fashioned keys dangling from the ignition.

See the CCPS Facebook post below.


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