Nova Scotia

'Stolen' SUV returned to owner with full tank of gas

RCMP say a woman had parked her white Hyundai Santa Fe in a Hammonds Plains, N.S., parking lot beside an identical vehicle. When she came back, her SUV was gone.

Man realized he wasn't driving his own car, drove vehicle back to rightful owner

Nova Scotia RCMP warn that some push-button start vehicles can be started without the keyless fob actually in the vehicle. (CBC)

A woman who called 911 Sunday evening to report her SUV stolen from a parking lot in Hammonds Plains, N.S., not only got her vehicle back, it was returned with a full tank of gas.

RCMP said the woman told police that around 6:30 p.m. she had parked her white Hyundai Santa Fe on Hammonds Plains Road beside an identical vehicle and entered a business. When she came back out it was gone.

It turns out the driver of the other SUV had gotten in and managed to drive away. He even filled it up with gas before realizing his mistake. The "stolen" SUV was returned to the woman, who reimbursed the man for filling her tank. 

RCMP Cpl. Dal ​Hutchinson said police don't believe either vehicle was left running in the parking lot. Some push-button start vehicles can be started without the keyless fob actually in the vehicle.

"Both vehicles were identical in make and model, however one was a 2016, the other was a 2017," said Hutchinson. 

"I think all of us have done it at one time or another ... have gotten into a vehicle and realized that this isn't my vehicle, and have climbed out before we actually drove off.

"But in this case he drove off, filled it full of gas, and then discovered the fact that it wasn't his and took it right back to the owner."