How a mom accidentally stole a car

(CNN) — What started out as a simple mother-daughter favor in New York City ended up as grand theft auto. Well, kind of.

But neither Nekisia Davis or her mother Cheryl Thorpe are behind bars after police helped them sort out the mess.

You see, Thorpe managed to steal a 21-year-old car by mistake, CNN affiliate WABC reported.

It was an innocent enough mistake.

While Davis and two of her friends were heading off on an extended weekend, Thorpe agreed to move their cars, which were parked in Brooklyn, so they wouldn’t get ticketed.

Proud of herself after moving three cars, Thorpe texted her daughter, “all the cars were successfully moved, yay, so proud of myself.”

No problem, right? Wrong.

cafdsdpture[1]When the ladies returned home they spotted the problem. One of the women couldn’t find her car.

Thorpe was convinced she’d moved the right one. She even showed the women the keys she’d used.

The keys were right, but the 1993 green Honda Accord wasn’t.

The women soon found the car in the same place where it was parked at the beginning of the weekend.

Great news, but now they had an extra car that didn’t belong to them.

But whose car was it?

Davis decided to make a flier that would hopefully catch the owner’s attention. “I didn’t steal your car but I think my mom may have,” it read. “It’s a long story. I’ll explain.”

Soon the flier was on Instagram and attracting lots of attention. But it was the police that ultimately reunited the car with its owner after a stolen vehicle report was filed.

Because surveillance video showed Thorpe making a quick getaway, the owner of the other green Honda Accord, Emilee Hickert, told WABC that she thought her car had been taken by a “professional.” She said she was happy to have it back.

But how was Thorpe able to open and operate the car, using the key from another? A Honda rep called it a “rare” occurrence that the keys happened to match up.

7 comments

  • Jeffrey McCloskey

    Actually, it’s not as rare as Honda would like you to think. Its a secret of the auto industry that there’s actually a rather small number of unique keys made for any particular model. We did the same thing…walked up to our car, unlocked it with the key, got in, and then realized we were sitting in someone else’s car. We got out, and successfully locked and unlocked the car, with our key…..but it wasn’t our car.

  • ash

    Same thing happened to me … Three times. Once with a Chevy Malibu, once a Nissan sentra and a Nissan Altima

  • Adam

    This happened to me in a Nissan Altima. Same year and color oops! Unlocked doors but wouldn’t start engine.

  • Denise

    The keys to my 91 ford escort open
    ed the doors to my friends car that was the same year and model…….

  • Kristen S (@kshoosh)

    It also happens with older cars because the grooves in the keys wear down over time, so the specific pattern of the key is less precise than it was when it was new. As older keys wear down and the patterns that make them unique are wearing down, they become more and more similar, and it becomes possible to use different old keys for the same car.

  • Vicki

    My moms 2005 Chrysler and cousin 2003 Chrysler both use the same keys to unlock and start.. So not so rare

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