A V8 car parked outside a Hastings tyre outlet with its keys tucked into the sun visor was stolen but the owner only found out a day later because the service centre thought he had gone off with it.
Jeremy Thorburn's black V8 1996 Holden Commodore Club Sport, was taken from Motordrome Tyre & Auto Services in Hastings between 3pm and 5pm on Wednesday last week, but he did not find out it was missing until the following day.
The car was later used to steal $90 worth of petrol.
"It's a bit of a strange scenario," Mr Thorburn said. "I dropped it off on Wednesday but said they could keep it until Friday. Then I had my apprentice go around there on Thursday to get a data stick out of the glove box and they told him it wasn't there, they thought I had picked it up.
"That just doesn't happen, I'm in the same trade, I spray paint cars and you know when a car starts up in the yard - it's a V8, it's loud."
A spokesperson for Motordrome said it was a blatant daylight theft, which had left everyone "baffled".
"We had absolutely no idea the vehicle wasn't there. It was brazen, whether someone may have been targeting the car we are not sure," the spokesperson said.
"I don't know where, why, what, only that it was right outside the workshop at 3pm when we finished with it and it wasn't there at 5pm." Work to rotate the car's tyres had been completed on Wednesday, before it was parked near the workshop with its keys tucked into the sun visor.
"Those cars just don't get stolen, they have got a chip in the key telling the car not to go [without it]," Mr Thorburn said.
A call to Police to report the car missing uncovered another twist in the plot, with the discovery that it had been used to steal $90 worth of petrol from BP, Railway Rd, on Thursday morning.
Unfortunately the petrol station did not report the crime until three hours later, leaving the trail cold.
Mr Thorburn had re-painted the black exterior of the car, while the interior was dark grey with Club Sport imprinted on the upholstery, it also has black rims on the wheels.
There were no distinguishing features such as scratches or dents, but the model itself was uncommon enough that it would raise suspicion, he said.
"It's not a standard looking car, and it's a V8 and it's got a loud exhaust on it."
Police had not yet apprehended the car thieves but confirmed there had been sightings of the vehicle, including one on Saturday.
"We are still looking for that vehicle, obviously it has turned up somewhere. We have seen it a couple of times," Hastings police Senior Sergeant Ross Smith said. "Police want to hear from anyone who might have seen it.
Sightings of the car [pictured] can be reported to Hastings Police station on: 873-0500 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.