A Mount Maunganui woman has been reunited with her stolen car thanks to the power of social networking.
Tegan Poole, 22, was devastated to find her beloved Honda Civic had been stolen from outside her home on Tuesday. When she went outside to get something from the car, all she found was broken glass and the car's ignition. "I just cried, I'm really attached to that car."
Tegan rang her mum Janet, who rang Tegan's sister Neesha, who posted a Save the Honda notice on her Facebook page and shared it with her friends.
The post was then shared with friends of friends and within hours Tegan started receiving texts and phone calls from people who had seen her car driving around Tauranga with three males inside. The car was spotted in Papamoa, Cherrywood and at one stage on State Highway 2 heading towards Katikati.
Tegan kept the police updated with each new sighting and kept her friends updated on her Facebook page.
Finally, on Thursday, Tegan got a call from a friend whose friend had spotted the car and followed it. The plucky friend of a friend had also called the police and gave them regular updates while she doggedly followed Tegan's Honda.
The drama peaked when four police cars converged on the Honda and three men jumped out and ran. Police had since found two of them and would be charging them on Monday, Tegan said.
Tegan was at work when her friend rang her with the happy news.
"I was ecstatic. I was jumping around at work and screaming, 'Oh my God', and then Mum turned up at work and my friends turned up ... it was great."
Tegan was reunited with her car yesterday, after the police had dusted it for fingerprints, and said it was fantastic to be driving her Civic again.
"If it wasn't for Facebook I probably wouldn't have found it. Nobody would have even known it was stolen," she said.
Using social media to find and recover stolen property was an idea she would suggest to any victim of theft.
"It's quite a good idea, I recommend it. If they post a picture of it and say it's stolen, everyone will keep an eye out and be aware that it's stolen."
The police could not be contacted for comment.