A man was saved from a carjacking in Johannesburg by his mobile phone and a tweet.
On Saturday evening, as he was driving through Honeydew in north-west Johannesburg, two armed men forced him into the boot of his car at gunpoint. At this point he sent a text to his girlfriend, who promptly took to Twitter to spread the word beyond contacting authorities, detailing the car and the time of hijack.
Be on the look for DSS041GP my boyufriend has just been hijacked and is in the boot please RT— Lynn Peters (@onebadvillynn) April 7, 2012
Maroon VW Golf 3 DSS041GP been hijacked at ±9 o clock— Lynn Peters (@onebadvillynn) April 7, 2012
This is when user @PigSpotter caught wind read the tweet. He used his 109,000 followers, including several private security firms to help the cause, a break from the norm of...spotting pigs: alerting people to police roadblocks and speed traps.
RT @Tanisha_Reddy my friend was just hijacked and is in the boot of his car, Honeydew area reg no DSS041GP Golf 3 maroon in colour— Cliff-that's all (@PigSpotter) April 7, 2012
One of these firms, K9 Law Enforcement were able to track the carjackers heading towards Kroonstad on the N1, via the victim's active cell phone in the boot.
UPDATE: Hijacked car is now heading towards Kroonstad. Police are en route and tracing the active cell phone.— Cliff-that's all (@PigSpotter) April 7, 2012
After two hours, the getaway was brought to a halt by a police roadblock, and thankfully the victim walked away unharmed. It's fair enough to say celebratory and congratulatory tweets were in order.
He's fine!he's unharmed— Lynn Peters (@onebadvillynn) April 7, 2012
While the network may not have stopped the carjacking persè, with the local bill taking the lead on the penultimate interception, it's always great to see the acts of a proactive community, and this 'stength-in-numbers' of social media maybe a sign of law enforcement tactics to come.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.