Alert neighbor checks twitter, finds stolen car

Arbor Heights resident Margaret Lanphier had noticed a car parked across the street in a church parking strip for a couple of days.  As her neighborhood has had trouble with abandoned vehicles parked there before, she decided it couldn’t hurt to just check the plate numbers against SPD’s “Get Your Car Back”  twitter feed, which she subscribes to.  Sure enough, the license plate number showed up on the feed, and Lanphier called 9-1-1.  

SPD then contacted the owner, a Capitol Hill resident, who came to reclaim the car.  Says Lanphier, “I talked to the owner when she came to pick it up. She was shuddering about all the used syringes and ash all over the car but it had just been driven for a joy ride and ran out of gas!  So, she  got some gas for it and drove it home.”

This brings up a good point, if your car is ever stolen and then recovered, it is always a good idea to carefully examine your recovered stolen vehicle for property that does not belong to you, which may be evidence of other crimes. Also, you may want to search your vehicle’s interior carefully (using a flashlight) to make sure drugs, drug paraphernalia, or dangerous objects such as syringes, have not been left behind. To turn over any evidence or contraband to the police, call the Non-Emergency number, (206) 625-5011, and be sure to have your Seattle Police Incident Number handy to give to the Operator. 

The “Get Your Car Back” program began December 1, 2010.  When a car is reported stolen in Seattle, employees in the Seattle Police 911 Center tweet the color, year, make, model, body style and license plate of the stolen car.  Twitter followers who spot a car that has been tweeted as stolen on “Get your car back” should call 911.  Citizens are directed not to make contact if they see a tweeted stolen car and any potential occupants.  All 911 calls will be screened to ensure that the car information is correctly matched and to verify that the car has not already been returned to its rightful owner. If the car is still listed as stolen, the information will be broadcast so that officers can respond to the area.

You can subscribe to the “Get Your Car Back” twitter feed here: http://twitter.com/getyourcarback

To find out about crime incidents and other SPD news, you can subscribe to SPD’s twitter account at: http://twitter.com/seattlepd

A big SPD thank you goes out to Margaret Lanphier for keeping such a close eye on her neighborhood.