Facebook helps find stolen car

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A LUXURY car stolen after it was left running to de-ice was found within an hour after an emergency appeal on Facebook.

The owner of the Audi Q7 had briefly gone back into his home in Broadgate, Weston Hills, after switching on the engine to clear the windscreen.

When he returned the car had gone.

Within minutes, the owner, who does not wish to be named for fear of being targeted by thieves again, had called police and asked Facebook friends to look out for the car.

The message was reposted by other friends and family and within minutes had been spotted a few miles away in the Clay Lake area of Spalding.

It was quickly recovered by police and is now in the hands of forensic experts.

It is believed the car had not been damaged.

The owner said: “I’m really pleased to get the car back and it’s really thanks to Facebook.

“The car is fitted with a tracker, but unfortunately it didn’t work, so it was really lucky that the friend of a friend spotted it within half an hour of it being stolen and called the police.”

“I have never given a second thought to leaving the engine running, but I was literally inside the house for just 30 or 40 seconds and it was gone.

“I would seriously warn other people not to make the same mistake, as apparently there are gangs of people who just drive around looking for opportunities, then drive the cars a couple of miles, leave them parked for a couple of days and if they are still there, go back and collect them later.”

Police have appealed to witnesses to the theft at 8am on Monday or the car being abandoned shortly after and re-iterated the warning about leaving cars running.

Crime prevention officer Pc Nick Hanson said: “It is tempting to start the engine and then return to the house while you wait for the windscreen to clear, but those few minutes are all that is needed for a thief to steal the car.”

Anyone with information should call Spalding police on 101.