My $200 Boomerang Keys

August 26, 2008 Posted by Tyler Cruz

Remember that Blogging from the Beach post I made just over a month ago?

Lisa and I drove about 3-hours to the beautiful Long Beach and had a great time, but then when we returned to my car, I realized I couldn’t find my car keys… here’s an excerpt from the original post:

“After we finished at the beach, I lost my car keys, and a lot of hassle ensued. To make a long story short, we ended up getting towed to a very small local town (2,000 people), and the only hotel open turned out to be a fishing charter accommodation resort.

To make things more bizarre, the receptionist lady said that there was only room available, and that she was sorry that it was so large. Large?  “No problem, thanks”. Hey, a large room is fine with me!

But when we got inside I understood what she was referring to. The “room” was a cabin with two floors… and four double beds! It was all fishing-related too which was funny. There was a note stating that room cleaning started at 6:00am… since all the fishermen most likely were out by 5:00am.

When we woke up, it was time for breakfast… which was served on a boat! So we walked aboard the giant boat and had breakfast inside. It was renovated into a restaurant, but the entire thing was on a slant. It made me feel like I was a villain on the old Batman series…”

Basically, the lost keys cause a huge pain – especially as we waited frozen on the extremely windy night for the Tow truck to come and pick us up for the second time (the first time he opened my car, but I hadn’t come up with a plan then and thought my keys were probably in there somewhere).

I’m not sure where I lost my keys, but it had to be somewhere on the beach. I had put them in my laptop bag but they must have fallen out when we climbed a really-difficult, spiky rock on the beach so we could get a real nice shot of me with my laptop. Here’s the view from atop that rock:


And here’s me. If you look closely, you’ll notice my black laptop bag lying beside the rock net to me. My keys might have fallen out around there somewhere, but I still don’t know how since I had put them secure in a side pocket which was zipped up and I hadn’t unzipped it…


The keys I lost had one of those electronic Lock/Unlock/Alarm gadgets on it, and so I was a little bit disappointed to lose that, but I knew I had a replacement set at home so wasn’t all that sad.

However, when I went to the dealership to inquire about getting a new set, I was completely dumbfounded as to how much it would cost. I was under the impression that those things cost $15-20… maybe $25-35. After all, electronics are so cheap these days and all it does is lock and unlock a car… how expensive could it be?

So I was certainly in shock when the service guy said it was like $180. I didn’t order it, of course, since I already had my backup one, and just got duplicate keys cut for my car at Home Hardware for $1 each. But it did add insult to injury to my expensive beach trip (the two towings and 4-bed hotel room didn’t come cheap)

Anyhow, a month later I wake up and find a missed call on my Blackberry. The call display showed it as “OVERWAITEA”. That seemed really odd to me at first because Overwaitea used to be a really old grocery store chain here, but since I was like 10 or so.

I listed to my voicemail and guess what? They had my keys! Somebody mailed them in and they went to their company headquarters over in Vancouver.

I then found out that Overwaitea owned Save-On-Foods, which is what we have here now.

So, why did somebody mail my keys to Overwaitea? Well, about a year ago, probably longer, I signed up for one of those free supermarket cards that you use at grocery stores to get “points” and also receive discounts on certain products from time to time. It’s not a credit card, just a points card, which is why I got it.

When I received my card, they also gave me two little keychain tabs which have barcodes on them so you don’t have to try to fish out your card from your wallet each time – keys are always faster and easier to find than a card, after all.

So, I put them on each set of my keys (I have one set for just my car keys and another for my house keys) and forgot all about it.

I had also forgotten that those keychain tab things would contain all of my personal information should a kind samaritan pick them up and drop them in the mailbox! So, the headquarters asked me which store I lived closer to (One is about 15-minutes away while the other is about 3) and then mailed them off to there that same afternoon. The lady also gave me 1,000 free points just for calling…! Sure, 1,000 points probably equates to about $0.10 but still 😉

My keys took on a bit of a trip because they went from my house in Nanaimo to Long Beach, Tofino, then mailed off the island to Vancouver, then mailed back to the island in Nanaimo. Hence, my boomerang keys.

My keys arrived last week and I picked them up from the store after showing them some ID.

To this day I still don’t know where I had lost my keys. I wish I could have talked to the person who found them and mailed them so I could find out as well as thank them.

Mmmmmwuh! My keys are back!


I was curious to see if the electronic would still work since they were probably left on that big rock and rained upon, pecked by birds, and covered in sand. Fortunately, they work just fine and look no worse than when I had last saw them. 



The moral of the story? Make sure you get some type of mail-back tab thing for your keys. Don’t put your personal information on your keys or people can just steal your car or break into your house. Plus, if you use something like I did, you don’t have to pay a cent for postage 😀 (If somebody found your keys 3 hours away, they probably won’t be thrilled about having to mail them to you).


I also installed certain back-up… solutions should I ever lose my keys a long distance from my house again. But this still saves me $200 🙂

And that’s the story of my $200 boomerang keys.

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Posted: August 26th, 2008 under Personal  

24 Responses to “My $200 Boomerang Keys”

  1. Joey Logano says:

    Hey that’s great Tyler! Glad to hear you have your keys back 🙂 Maybe this means you are on a good luck streak now hehehe

  2. Dan Grossman says:

    Do those spares you had cut for $1 actually start the car? I thought most new cars had ignitions that required a matching chip in the key to start.. not just the right shape. And that’s why they’re so expensive to get new ones made.

  3. Haha thats cool I had same thing happen to me and best buy sent me my keys to my door free also gave me reward points lol. Great Post Tyler

  4. Tyler Ingram says:

    Wow that’s pretty nice that someone found your keys and sent them back to SaveOnFoods (who is also one of Jimmy Patterson’s many companies).

    I know new car fobs can have a transmission kill circuit in them. My girlfriends 08 Yaris does anyway. You can get the non-transmission kill circuit keys but the one she went with has them. She can get her keys cut, but she won’t be able to start the engine without the proper key. Her car came with keys. 1 master, 1 without the automatic door locks, and then 2 valet keys.

    There are also those Vet tags you can get for your car keys. If you ever loose them, the person who finds them just puts them into the mailbox and they get mailed to your house. pretty cool idea, and the money towards the Vet key tags goes towards various military vet things (also kids war amps too i think)

  5. That’s a great story, made me smile.

    I have to say, though, with all your free time, you should lift some weights…it would make for better promo pics!

  6. Queue says:

    Great post, Tyler!

    That’s very interesting, I’m glad a person was kind enough to mail them back.

    Aw, I want your reward points. ):

  7. Good things happen when you go to the beach! I am sure it was a good beach loving person that found your keys and turned them in! HA!

  8. I locked my keys in my car one time and it cost me $90 to join BCAA for them to open the door and get them for me. I learned that its a good idea to keep a second set of keys in my pocket in case I lose access to the first set.

    Something else you might consider is keeping a set of keys hidden somewhere in your car. So, if you lose them, you can always break a window to retrieve them. I’m sure that would cost less than 2 tows and hotel stay. 🙂

  9. tyler, glad u got ur keys back, gud to kno there’s still some gud samaritans in this world! jux a tip…u can hang a spare key under ur car for backup. if u look around, there’s plenty of little holes/hooks that u can hang the key ring from…this has saved me on a couple occassions.

  10. Emma says:

    Tyler that was a great story. Thanks for taking the time to share. I used to have one of those grocery store tabs on my keys. Maybe I’ll take your advice and put one on them again.

  11. If you zipped them up in your bag, I wonder, how in the hell did you loose them?

    I hesitate to say, anything paranormal took place.. But hey, it’s a possibility..? Gremlins?

    De-materialization? Yeah thats it, theres a wormhole in your bag..?

    Unless you’re mistaken, I mean, maybe you envisioned yourself placing them in the bag, and zipping it up?

    It happens.

    Maybe you were on ‘Auto Pilot’ (If thats where you put your keys normally?) ???

    Either way, you’re pretty damn lucky, even though, I don’t believe in luck?

    Then it would have been purposeful… I wonder, what is the purpose, then?

    Oh, I know… Shop at Save-On-Foods and Save!

    I should have known.

    -Michael McClurg

    • It’s easy to loose stuff on that beach, no need to have anything paranormal happen. Besides, if it was a nice sunny day maybe Tyler got distracted by the surfer babes riding the waves and that’s the real story of how he lost his keys.


  12. Bro, I wouldn’t be putting those keys anywhere near my mouth after what they have been through. There are some sick people in this world… even though you were lucky enough to find a nice one that sent your keys back.

  13. Georgia says:

    Maybe you must change your car key chain with a mobile phone. So, you can give it miss call when loosing it 🙂 … Sorry for my stupid idea. Just joking 🙂

  14. Austin B. says:

    Hey Tyler or anyone,
    Are mini-sites a good ideas to make some quick money???

  15. Austin757 says:

    Hey Tyler or anyone,
    Are mini-sites a good ideas to make some quick money???

  16. I found out the hard way as well that they were $200 a pop (clearly over-inflated prices). Luckily the dealership gave me 3 copies instead of 2.

  17. Mike says:

    That’s great news! I’m glad you got your keys back, and that’s a nice beach you were hanging out at. 😉

  18. Isn’t it good to find out there are still honest and nice people around? how great to get your keys back and not having to fork over 180 to have a new set made.

  19. Joey says:

    Thats a cool story. Just think if you had one of those cars with the embedded electronic ignition keys…. Just a replacement key could have run you over $200.

  20. iPod Touch says:

    Just shows there still are some unselfish caring people out there!



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