Josh Bingham's trusty old ute which caused a stir recently by being reported stolen. It was actually a case of wrong place, wrong time.
Josh Bingham's trusty old ute which caused a stir recently by being reported stolen. It was actually a case of wrong place, wrong time. Contributed

Key way to avoid having your car stolen

THERE'S usually nothing funny about car theft, but I'll admit, a recent incident did produce a giggle from me.

The story started when a vehicle was "accidentally” stolen by a mechanic who was sent to pick it up. He'd used the key he was given to open and drive away the wrong car! Now, the odds of having two of the same car, parked in the same place, accepting the same key, are probably about the same as winning lotto - but it certainly isn't unheard of.

The fact is, mechanical locks have a finite number of key combinations, so if you try enough keys in enough locks, you'll eventually find one that works. And, if the lock is old and worn, your chances of success become even better.

The good news is, most newer cars also have an electronic security system that prevents the engine being started, even if the key fits the lock. But if your car doesn't have a factory fitted immobiliser, there's another good reason to fit one. They're effective and not too expensive.

The bright spot for the owner in this story was that by the time the mistake was identified, the car had been serviced and the mechanic couldn't reasonably charge him for it.