No, it wasn't a 9/11-style conspiracy. Instead, Charlie Sheen just left his keys in the car.

That's the word from the man himself as well as law-enforcement sources investigating the early-morning theft of the Two and a Half Men star's Mercedes-Benz SUV, which later plunged off a cliff along Hollywood's famed Mulholland Drive into a ravine.

Sheen left the keys in the ignition—and the garage door open—as he often does after returning home from the set last night around 8 p.m.

Police say that the SUV-jacking had nothing to do with Sheen's fame for any kind of vendetta against the 44-year-old actor (in other words, Brooke Mueller is in the clear). It appears to be just a crime of opportunity.

Investigators are now considering the possibility that the vehicle might have been swiped by a gang of crooks operating in Sheen's gated community. Law-enforcement sources tell the Los Angeles Times that a string of garages in Sheen's neighborhood were also hit.

Why the thiefs would drive an SUV off a cliff, however, remains a mystery. But authorities aren't discounting the theory the perps were trying to destroy evidence.

"The fire companies that are around Mulholland and that area are very familiar with these types of rescues," says Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Cecco Secci. "I can't give a specific number, but I would say once a month." Things get even worse on the winding roads on rainy days like today.

But, Secci adds, there's usually a driver found. In this case, the vehicle was empty.

Emergency crews have been trying to recover the vehicle from the ravine.

"We're going to bring it up and once it’s brought up the investigation will continue," an LAPD rep tells E! News.

Additional reporting by Whitney English


Get the latest on Sheen's family drama here.

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