Dude, Where’s My Car: Grandfather Loses Car In Parking Lot – for Nearly Three Years

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A British man parked his Honda in a lot before going shopping in May 2008. He found his car last week. 

Every shopper knows the frustration – stumbling out of the mall after a therapeutic marathon shopping session, only to have to recall the level, the row, the exact space where you parked the car. But what if that moment of glory never came?

(More on TIME.com: See how cities are reinventing the parking lot.)

80-year-old Gerald Sanctuary couldn’t find his silver Honda in a parking garage after a trip to the pharmacy. Sanctuary, who suffers from dementia, eventually called off the search and got a ride home. His children went back to look for the car, but they too were unable to track it down, presuming it had been stolen.

Over Christmas, an attendant at the garage in St. Albans, England, 25 miles northwest of London, noticed the car was unusually dirty and alerted police. They were able to match the car to Sanctuary and reunited him with his wheels last week. Sanctuary’s son Nigel said: ‘It’s just amazing that it was right under our noses the whole time.”

(More on TIME.com: See photos of the monstrous Mall of America.)

The car surely went unnoticed – or workers simply looked the other way – because Sanctuary’s silver Honda was clocking up a daily charge of £8.50 ($13.60) – and after two-and-a-half years, his total due on exit was rapidly approaching £9,000 ($14,400). Fortunately, the parking garage waived the fee. (via Daily Mail)