A Ford Focus was taken from outside a house on Bella Close, Langley Mill - only to be crashed into a parked vehicle less two hours later.
The offender entered the home and stole the keys to the car between 12.30am and 1am on Sunday police say, before driving it away. The car was reported to have collided with a Renault Megane on Edward Street at 2.15am.
However the offender had already fled the scene.
The owners of the Ford did not report the car as stolen until 4.40am.
Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident. If you have any information which could help, call 101.