A 2000 BMW 740iL, similar to the one stolen from the Hooters in Fairfax City by a couple headed to a "wedding." It was found Tuesday and returned to its owner, five weeks later. (Roberto Arias)

Now the car has been found, Fairfax City police Sgt. Joe Johnson reports. It was in the parking lot of the Fair Lakes Promenade shopping center, which is the strip mall just off West Ox Road with the Barnes and Noble, Old Navy and the Macaroni Grill. A Fairfax County officer found the car on Tuesday afternoon, undamaged and unlocked. The keys were in the car, on the seat, Johnson said. And the engagement ring and laptop computer he claimed were inside? Also there, police said.

Fairfax City police inquired of the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office whether they should pursue a stolen auto investigation, and were told no, Johnson said. This is likely because grand larceny requires proof that the thieves converted the property to their own use, which they didn’t do by abandoning the car at some unknown time. And an “unauthorized use of a vehicle” charge would require clear terms of use by the owner, and the owner may have had some credibility problems, according to one prosecutor I spoke with who was not connected to the case. And all this is if the police even track down the thieves, which might take some doing for a minor charge. The full story of the episode, and the thieves’ wily claim that they were trying to get to a wedding, is here.

The owner got his 2000 model BMW, current Blue Book value $8,000, back Tuesday, Johnson said. “Hopefully, he learned a lesson,” Johnson added. “Hopefully he won’t be so generous with his vehicle in the future. But it wasn’t a false police report, and it wasn’t an insurance scam, so he’s good to go,” from the police perspective.

This post has been updated to reflect that the contents of the BMW, including an engagement ring, a laptop computer and clothing, were still in the car when it was found.