How an online forum helped a car dealer recover a stolen car…

Filed as News on April 13, 2008 7:36 pm

We’ve all heard of services like Lojack, a service that allows police (and the rightful owner) to track down a vehicle after it has been stolen – but many have probably never seen a story where an online forum of car enthusiasts uses the internet, cell phones, text messaging, video cameras, and other tools to help other car enthusiasts recover their vehicles once they are stolen.

Today’s New York Times profiles how online collaboration through services like online forums enabled one car enthusiast/dealer was able to recover a rare & valuable stolen car:

One of the men had been to the dealership a week earlier for a ride, but he and Mr. Ironside didn’t get far. The car, with an engine modified for extra horsepower, began to act up. When the man returned with a friend for another try, Mr. Ironside was juggling two customers, so he just handed them the keys, explaining that there was only enough gas in the tank for a drive around the block.

But 15 minutes later Mr. Ironside noticed that the Skyline still hadn’t returned — and that the car that the two men had arrived in was gone. A bad feeling swelled in his gut; still, he reasoned, sometimes a buyer will take a car to have it inspected.

“It’s kind of hard to report a vehicle stolen 15 minutes after it’s not come back from a test drive,” he said in a telephone interview last Sunday.

The car never returned. That night, after reporting its disappearance to the police, Mr. Ironside posted a message on Beyond.ca, a Web site for Canadian auto enthusiasts, to spread the word.

Auto theft isn’t a crime that you see police spending much time on nowadays – though from time to time we hear of a prominent case – perhaps this is a more efficient manner of getting the job done?

Other coverage: Wired & Slashdot.

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  1. By Mike Mason posted on April 23, 2008 at 10:58 am
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    wow that’s great, it’s about time the home user can use a GPS & a free group to track his car… I’ll add this link to my blog about auto tips!
    Thanks!

    Reply

  2. By Moramiramar posted on October 7, 2008 at 2:57 pm
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    Naked Sarah Palin on video. And it still the mayor, horror.
    http://moviesiss.blogspot.com

    Reply

  3. By Easestbedunse posted on October 18, 2008 at 8:49 am
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    U Will Never Seen This kind Of Joke Before Please Visit hg-palladium.com

    Reply

  4. By jake posted on November 25, 2008 at 9:13 pm
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    http://www.StolenCarReports.com has been doing this same thing for years.

    Reply

  5. By kemAnnoniTymn posted on June 12, 2009 at 3:19 am
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    Greetings

    I wanted to share with you a great site I’ve found for Free Mobile Applications etc. is Esnips.com I’ve found everything on my list…

    let me know what you think!, Hope this helps ;-)

    Muah!

    Reply

  6. By JF1978 posted on November 30, 2009 at 1:38 am
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    When my car was stolen I reported it here:
    Report stolen car on Stolen-Property.com
    I got my car back and I think it actually let to the arrest of the thief who stole my car!

    Reply

  7. By helen82 posted on October 11, 2010 at 8:52 am
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    I’m Helen, from Singapore. I’ve just bought a new car: Acura ZDX (honda). It’s very luxury and nice, stylish. It’s my first car. However, It was stolen last night. I’m very bored now. I wish my local police will find my car soon.

    Reply

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