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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

June 8, 2011 at 10:57 AM

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SPD Twitter account results in recovery of stolen car

Posted by John de Leon

The Seattle Police Department's Twitter account that tweets information on stolen vehicles has resulted in the recovery of a stolen car.

Margaret Lanphier of Arbor Heights had noticed a car parked across the street in a church parking lot for a couple of days. She checked the plate numbers against the Police Department's "Get Your Car Back" twitter feed. When the car's license plate number showed up on the feed Lanphier called 911.

The car belonged to a Capitol Hill resident, who spoke with Lanphier when she came to reclaim the car.

"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," Lanphier said. So she got some gas for it and drove it home."

The Police Department launched the new Twitter account in December to tweet information on stolen cars. When a car is reported stolen, an officer will confirm the report and get the owner's signature on a form. Once that form is signed, the officer will call into the dispatch center and the information -- a vehicle's color, year, make, model, body type and license-plate number -- will be tweeted to Twitter followers.

For more information or to sign up, click here.

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