Durban - A Durban man used Facebook crime awareness groups to turn up the heat on a man he suspected had stolen his car - and was reunited with his pilfered ride just days later.
Micky Siebert, who works at a furniture factory in Umbilo, said a "suspicious customer" had piqued his interest last week.
"Over the past few weeks we had this dodgy dude coming in and asking us to ring up furniture orders on what looked to us like a bum card," he said.
"He then started calling us to put the card through over the phone, which we don't do as company policy. Every time he called he had to give us a name, and for some unknown reason he gave my staff and myself a different name. My girlfriend who works with me randomly searched one of his names and found a profile on Facebook with pictures of the chap," Siebert said.
He added that the man eventually came into the store and he was suspected to have lifted Siebert's car keys off the counter, with the car disappearing moments later.
He reported the car stolen to the police, and was given a case number. But instead of waiting around, Siebert decided to try and trace his vehicle.
"My car is a Citroën, so you can't steal it without the key. Now due to the fact that we had a Facebook profile with actual pictures of the guy who took the car, I made the decision to post these pictures of him on a few groups and on my timeline along with a picture of my car and the registration details," he said.
"As the posts started to get more shares and comments, we received an anonymous phone call [giving us] an address near Ridge road close to Entabeni Hospital. We hopped in my partner's car and went to go check it out, and sure enough - there was my little car," he said.
"The call could have come from a Facebook user who saw the car and called in or the thief who felt the noose tightening, I'm hoping it was the latter," he said.
He called the police while they were at the location supplied, and the car was towed to the Isipingo police pound.
It was released to him the next day after police checked it for evidence.