Internet sleuths track down car thief

Internet sleuths track down car thief

Don't mess with the geeks

A Canadian man has been reunited with his beloved custom car after eliciting the help of an internet talk-board.

Shaun Ironside, from Calgary, imported the rare 1991 Nissan Skyline GT-R and spent thousands of dollars fitting it with a custom turbo, shocks, engine modifications and a body kit.

But the car was stolen by two men, one of whom was missing two fingers on one hand.

"Unfortunately I have to post this as one of my first posts. My 1991 Skyline GT-R is officially stolen," he wrote.

"It was stolen from Heritage Auto Sales in Calgary, Alberta - 7500 6th Street SE at about 1:00pm today - March 26th, 2008. A test driver that went on a permanent test drive.

"I would rather find and recover the car as opposed to claiming it through insurance. If anyone knows anything or recognizes the guy please message me."

Ironside posted a message on a talk-board and locals started to put the word around. Within a day the first clue came after the board's moderator, known as 'Jaymez', spotted the car, got a photo of the occupants and gave chase.

He later gave the police a full description and his success energised the talk-board to track down the thieves.

Another talk-board poster, known as 'Numi', spotted the car in front of a house and called Ironside and other talk-board members 'Dim_Sum' and 'DJ_Stylz'.

Together they called the police and used their cars to box in the stolen vehicle so that police could make an easy arrest.

"I only got into the whole Japan importing scene late last year. My first post on the forum was a shot in the dark hoping that members driving similar vehicles would spot a similar vehicle on the road faster than anyone else," Ironside said.

"As it turned out I made a great decision by making that first post, because the members on this forum are a community of supporting individuals that I never imagined would go to the lengths they did in helping me find my car. Again, a huge thanks."

Initially he had offered a $1,500 reward and has honoured that promise, splitting the money between those posters who helped him recover his vehicle.

The case is similar to one earlier in the month when a New York teenager identified her mugger using his MySpace page.