"Is this your car or do you know whose it is? Looking for the owner who potentially wears a lot of necklaces and enjoys San Pellegrino sodas. I didn't steal your car but I think my mom may have. It's a long story. I'll explain, but your car is safe and sound."
When Nekisia Davis, a Red Hook granola-maker, took a weekend trip to Miami with her friends earlier this month, she used her extra airline miles to fly her mother up from Houston to dog-sit. In addition to taking care of Ruby, Davis's Pomeranian mix, her mom was tasked with moving the group's vehicles. "My car's the Fiat, Betsy's is the CRV, Deanna has a green Honda," Davis instructed her.
"She sent a text later saying that all the cars were successfully moved: 'I'm so proud of myself,'" Davis explained this morning to Daily Intelligencer from Fort Defiance, the neighborhood café where the bizarre sign above is posted. It wasn't until they got back from vacation that things got weird.
Davis and her friends arrived from Florida late on Monday night, but Deanna couldn't find her car where it was supposed to be, one block south of where it was when she left it, closer to the water. She spent the night on the couch and decided to deal with it in the morning.
"Well, that's the car that I moved with your keys," said Davis's mom the next day, pointing at a four-door, green Honda Accord. "Deanna wears a lot of necklaces, and this car had a bunch of necklaces around the mirror. It just seemed like Deanna's car," said Davis.
As it turns out, Honda keys — as the long-rumored urban legend goes — really do work on more than one vehicle, or at least Deanna's did. "Deanna's car was right where she left it. It didn't get towed; it didn't even get ticketed," said Davis. "Sometimes they're not so vigilant on the side streets around here."
The car Davis's mom managed to move has California plates, she said, and local business owners remembered seeing the couple driving to take a distillery tour on Sunday. "It's like a small town down here," said Davis. "Everybody knows everybody."
She believes the car was reported stolen, but said police at the local 76th precinct have not been helpful. "I called the cops. They were like, 'I'm sorry, this sounds suspicious, and I don't really believe you.'" (A detective at the precinct told Daily Intelligencer that he couldn't comment, but would look into it. Update, 1:15 p.m.: The NYPD has confirmed that the car was reported stolen on Sunday, April 6. An officer has been sent to recover the vehicle while they try to get in touch with the owner.)
Davis said the signs haven't generated any leads yet, but that she has told the story to a few curious drunk people who'd called about it. "The car's still parked on my street. I don't know what to do!" she said. "It's going to get ticketed on Friday."
As for her mom, back in Texas, she has a new story to tell at parties. "This is just a true situation of a mom who was trying to do a good deed and stole a car," said Davis. "She keeps saying, 'I think we should pitch it to Ellen!'"