Her friends call it "Boomerang."
Maika Nicholson’s car has been stolen four times, but has also returned four times.
“I always come out to make sure it’s there because often times it’s not,” Nicholson said about her ’97 Honda Civic. “It’s been stolen in San Francisco three times and probably been broken into three or four times, I would say. I can’t even keep count anymore.”
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This week, her car came back for the fourth time. San Francisco Police found it less than a mile from her Noe Valley Home.
“The first time, I was pretty upset. Now, it’s just kind of funny to me,” said Nicholson, who has even tracked the car down herself using an app on her smartphone. The third time it was stolen, the thieves dumped it a couple blocks away, without any damage.
According to SFPD’s Carlos Manfredi, they could be stealing the car for two reasons: to joyride in it, drive around town, "do donuts," or use it to commit crimes.
The Bay Area has one of the nation’s highest rates of car thefts, according to the FBI. This is especially true in San Francisco, where more than 1,300 cars have been stolen so far this year.
“Those are easy cars to break. All you need is a fork,” Manfredi said, explaining thieve usually target older models because they’re easy to break into.
Nicholson has a club on her steering wheel to deter thieves, however, officers have recommended she get a new car with a smart key, if she does not want it stolen a fifth time.
For Nicholson, though, it’s not easy to trade in an old friend.
“It’s funny because it just keeps coming back to me, so I have a little bit of a weird attachment to it,” Nicholson said.