Bungling council workers moved a car so they could paint double yellow lines – then forgot to tell the owner.
Stunned Liam Lockyer, 25, assumed his £35,000 Porsche Boxster had been stolen when it vanished from a parking spot in Clifton, Bristol on Thursday.
He reported the theft to police and embarked on a five-mile walk home to Filton, Bristol.
But officers returned his call hours later to say the council had towed it and parked it – 300 metres away from where he left it.
Barber Liam said: ”It really was the case of the vanishing car.
”I finished work about 6.30pm and walked to my car as usual but when I got there it was nowhere to be seen.
”I started wondering whether it had been stolen or if I was going mad or had parked it somewhere else.
”I started thinking ‘what on earth am I going to do?’
”With no other choice I walked home which took me about an hour and 20 minutes.”
But when he got home Avon and Somerset police rang to tell him they had found his car parked nearby.
It later emerged that Bristol City Council had legally removed the car to paint yellow lines int he road – but failed to inform Liam.
Liam added: ”She said what had happened was the council had been painting lines on the road corners.
”I wasn’t on the bend but quite near it. I have now noticed there are double yellow lines there.
”She said they had moved my car a couple of roads down, literally a two minute walk away, and then left it there.
”She told me that the council should have notified the police so they could have informed me.
”I was pretty relieved that my car hadn’t been towed or stolen but at the same time I was pretty annoyed that I had to walk all the way home after a day’s work worrying about what had happened to my car.
”I have seen stories about cars being moved, the lines painted, the car replaced and then given a ticket so perhaps I should be grateful.”
A Bristol City Council spokesman said three days before all residents were sent letters warning them not to park and that signs and cones were put up – some of which were removed but replaced.
During the painting six cars had to be removed to the nearest space available.
Gary Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Transport said: ”It appears that council staff did not follow the correct procedure in informing police.
”We apologise for this.”