After shopping, she hopped in a vehicle she thought was hers, started it up and drove away.
"For the next two weeks, the woman drove around and used the black auto for her regular everyday activities", seemingly oblivious to the fact that the vehicle she was driving was not the same one that she had rented, the police said. She mistook the mans 2015 Infiniti QX50 as her vehicle after doing her shopping and drove off. 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.
According to police in Cornwall, the mixup was only discovered after the woman tried to return the auto, which had been reported stolen, to the rental company she had got the original vehicle from.
She used the vehicle for two weeks, going about her daily activities normally; seemingly unaware that the auto she was in was not the one she had rented.
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 woman took not only the auto, she also managed to take the golf clubs that the owner had been storing in the back.
"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.
While they described it as a "happy ending to a complicated auto rental", police cast the story as a broader warning over electronic key fobs. When the woman who stole the auto tried to return the vehicle, the manager realized what happened. The keys the woman had returned belonged to an Infiniti vehicle, not the Nissan she had rented.
The woman - who police described as being "confused and a wee bit embarrassed herself" - contacted police, explaining that she had accidentally taken an Infinity and driven around in it for two weeks.
Together, they returned to the Walmart she had visited shortly after making the rental. There were papers in the glove box and cigarette butts in the ashtray, and even a set of golf clubs in the trunk. After all, she had no inkling she'd stolen the auto she was driving.
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.
The man, who had reported his auto stolen, had his vehicle returned to him.