Social media helps catch thieves as Warwickshire is now ninth highest area for car theft in UK
A car theft victim said he was left to do his own police work on Facebook after officers were “not interested” in helping him.
John Smith* had his Audi from his Meon Vale home in the early hours of last Thursday, 7th June. The incident occurred as Home Office data reveals that Warwickshire has the ninth highest rate for stolen cars in the country.
Latest crime figures also reveal that car thefts are reaching pre-pandemic levels.
Mr Smith’s car was stolen from his driveway overnight while he and his family – partner and two toddler children – were asleep.
He explained: “We have cameras and I discovered the car had gone at 7am. I watched our CCTV and saw the thieves coolly and calmly reprogramme a car key and push the car off the driveway, it took less than five minutes. I reported it to police but they weren’t really interested.
“The power of Facebook is more effective than the police, so I got my partner to stick news of the theft all over the local Facebook group.”
Mr Smith soon discovered that he wasn’t alone: three other Audis had been stolen in the area that night – two in Honeybourne and one in Weston- sub-Edge, with a further failed attempt nearby.
After the couple’s social media appeal, a Mickleton resident got in touch at lunchtime to say the stolen Audi was parked in their road.
Thieves often leave stolen cars for a short period of time to see if the vehicle has a tracker – if the vehicle is still there some hours later, they presume it hasn’t and will take it again.
Mr Smith said he again rang Warwickshire Police, but was amazed to be told to go and get the vehicle himself.
He continued: “I thought at least they might want to do some forensics.