An accidental thief left a remorseful note and some petrol money after mistakenly stealing a woman's car.

Oregon resident Erin Hatzi appealed on Facebook after her red Subaru Impreza was seemingly stolen in Portland.

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Note says: "Hello, So sorry I stole your car. I sent my friend with my key to pick up my red subaru at 7802 SE Woodstock and she came back with your car. I did not see the car until this morning and I said, 'that is not my car.' There is some cash for gas and I more than apologize for the shock and upset this must have caused you. If you need to speak further, with me, I am ******* and my number is ..........
So so sorry for this mistake."

Note: police confirm that older subaru keys are sometimes interchangeable.

Events took a bizarre turn when the car was returned with a note that explained how the mix-up occurred.

"Hello, so sorry I stole your car," it said. "I sent my friend with my key to pick up my red Subaru at 7802 SE Woodstock and she came back with your car.

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"I did not see the car until this morning and I said, 'that is not my car.' There is some cash for gas and I more than apologise for the shock and upset this must have caused you."

She added: "Note: police confirm that older Subaru keys are sometimes interchangeable."

The woman also left her name and number, concluding: "So sorry for this mistake."

"It's insane," Hatzi told KGW. "It's like a bad sitcom that nobody would ever buy the story because it's stupid and makes no sense. But it happened."