Accidentally Stolen Subaru Returned in Form of Gas Money


Recently, a car was stolen from a woman in Portland, Oregon, creating a huge ordeal. In the Woodstock neighborhood, the car was stolen from Erin Hatzi. The issue first arose when Hatzi’s husband arrived at their home. Hatzi’s husband had just gotten home and it was already 9:30 at night. He assumed that she was not home, but to her husband’s surprise, he saw his wife inside of their home. He asked Hatzi where she had parked, and she replied with a great amount of confusion, “In the driveway.” Her husband replied, “Nope!”. At that moment, the couple was panicking and frantically began their search for their missing red 2001 Subaru Impreza.

Immediately, the couple started on their hunt for their missing car. They began by watching the security footage from a security camera they placed outside of their garage. Hatzi even uploaded the footage to Facebook and asked her friends to help her out and crack the case. Through their search of the footage, the couple finally found the culprit in their case. The crime took place around seven at night when a woman got into the car, pulled out of the driveway, and began to drive away with a calm expression. Hatzi and her husband called the police as soon as they discovered the footage.

Twenty-four hours later, Hatzi and her husband were pleasantly surprised to see that their car had reappeared! Her car was returned to her, parked again in her driveway. Turns out, the entire crime was just a complicated confusion. The woman who had supposedly stole Hatzi’s car was smart enough to leave a small note to explain what had really happened last night. Hatzi’s husband checked the car and noticed that there was a hand-written note along with some bills of cash folded that was about $30 and tucked underneath the windshield wipers. The note that the lady wrote said, “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 may have caused you. … So so sorry for this mistake.” Included in the note was the lady’s name, along with her phone number.

At first, Hatzi did not believe that the whole alibi was actually true. She thought that the whole mistake and event was so “far-fetched” and refused to believe what had happened to her car. As the police investigated the crime, they discovered that the crime was not actually a crime and was indeed a mistake. It turns out, this was not a crime at all, but rather a major confusion that was not intended to cause so many problems. One officer explained that in some of the older models released by Subaru, the keys can be used for more than one car and that the cars do not all have their own custom key that can unlock it. Hatzi was so relieved and said, “I was very relieved and then it was mostly amusement and disbelief that something like this could happen”.

Even with the investigating, everyone had a good laugh about the crazy mix-up. Hatzi and the accidental driver never met to discuss their chaotic mix-up. The director of corporate communications for Subaru of America, Michael McHale, inferred that the key barrel may have been worn down and as a result become less sensitive to a specific key shape. Tejal P. An eighth grader at Kraemer Middle School says, “Wow, this story seems so crazy and almost impossible. I think that it’s so weird that her car was stolen, especially since the driver would need the same key.”