Everybody makes mistakes, but this kind of snafu is one that you can’t just shrug off: a Ford dealership in Sacramento, California accidentally gave away a car a couple had brought in for servicing.
Steve and Trish Russell tell WHNT that they took their 2017 black Ford Fusion in for servicing at Future Ford because it had issues with the air conditioning and the weather was getting hotter. They left the car there and went on their way, but they had a feeling that something was not quite right.
“The employee left the vehicle unlocked. He had the keys with him,” Steve tells the media outlet. “About two hours later, we were called and someone said that our vehicle had been stolen from the lot.”
The car wasn’t so much stolen as it was handed over to someone else pretending to be the rightful owner, Steve explains. A woman came into the dealership with her boyfriend and, without the employees even noticing, leaned in and took the identification tag from the Fusion. She then went over to a Future Ford employee and handed the tag, acting as if she was the owner.
Without even asking for identification, the employee handed her the keys. When police tracked the woman down, her defense was predictable but quite accurate as well: she hadn’t stolen the car, it had been “given” to her. “Which is actually true,” Trish says. “The keys were handed to this woman.”
Still, the woman was charged with grand theft auto. The car was eventually recovered, but it had sustained considerable damage: one tire was shot, there were dents and scratches on the rear side, and the interior was trashed. The dealership has agreed to pay for the repairs, while they investigate the situation internally.
However, it doesn’t look like they learned their lesson from this incident. “Came the next day to trade in our loaner and would see again and again service techs bring vehicles up and walk away from them,” Trish says. “Even when questioned, 'Why would you do that when somebody had just stolen a car from there?' they just shrugged and kept on walking.”