A carjacking and kidnapping victim in South Africa escaped a terrifying and possibly deadly situation thanks to quick thinking, his cellphone and the incredible speed of the Twittersphere.
The unnamed victim was carjacked on April 7 at about 9 p.m., and stuffed into the trunk of his Volkswagen Golf in the Honeydew area near Johannesburg, Ars Technica reported. The robbers did not take the man's cellphone, and from the trunk, the man texted his girlfriend, Lynn Peters, informing her of his predicament.
Peters immediately tweeted the car's license plate number, writing, "Be on the look for DSS041GP my boyufriend [sic] has just been hijacked and is in the boot please RT."
Peters' friend, Tanisha Reddy, retweeted the plea for help, and then @pigspotter, a Twitter feed dedicated to warning drivers about speed traps and roadblocks in Johannesburg, retweeted Peters' message to his more than 110,000 followers, many of whom are members of the private security industry, the South African news site The Star reported.
With the help of a security group called Riga Rescue, which tracked the victim's cell signal and K9 Lawn Enforcement, Pigspotter alerted his followers via Twitter to the exact location of the car. At 11:08 p.m., at a police roadblock in Ventersberg, 150 miles from where the carjacking took place, the stolen Golf was stopped.
The car's owner was rescued from the trunk, unharmed. The kidnappers fled on foot, and no arrests were made.
In a tweet following the successful end to the scare, Reddy said thanked the "brave people out there every day risking their lives for us in our time of need."
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