THE Holden Commodore Lisa Parker had owned for just two months was stolen Tuesday night - by a bold thief who took the car key from a key ring in her purse while she slept.
Ms Parker, who was visiting a friend in Slade Point, slept on the lounge room couch that night, her handbag practically "touching" her.
She heard nothing during the night, she said, and when she woke the next morning the car was still in the driveway.
It was only when she went to get into the car, to get some food for her dogs, that she realised the key was gone.
Nothing else had been stolen.
"I got a lift to my house out at Walkerston to take the dogs home and while I was gone, my friend rang up and she said, 'you found your key did you?'" she said. Followed by, "did you pick up your car?"
Ms Parker hadn't taken the car but it was gone.
She said she was left gutted, as it was all she had.
About 24 hours later, late on Wednesday night, she received a phone call from police telling her they had found her Commodore.
It had been ditched near a dirt road, just off Sams Rd, but as her key remained missing, that's where it stayed until Thursday afternoon.
Mackay District Detective Inspector Nikki Colfs said vehicles continued to be stolen, however, she doesn't believe there had been a spike in offences lately.
Det Insp Colfs said at times offenders broke into homes with the intention of stealing keys. She said police were continuing to encourage residents to hide their keys out of sight to avoid these thefts.
Despite Ms Parker's car being recovered, there are still some stolen cars outstanding, including a Nissan Navara dual cab, registration number 011 PRO.
Mackay police said a thief entered a home in Rae Street, East Mackay at 1:30am Wednesday, through a closed but unlocked back door. At this time, the resident was asleep in the lounge in front of the television set - very near to the point of entry.
The thief quietly moved through the lounge room and found the car keys and a wallet on a dining room table, and fled, waking the owner.Meanwhile, police are seeking assistance from the public with their investigation into a reported vehicle arson. The blue 2010 model Mitsubishi Lancer sedan was set alight at 10am on October 8 at the corner of Illawong Drive and Illawong Road. Police said the vehicle had been previously stolen from an address in Evan Street, South Mackay.