How social media and a helicopter helped track a stolen car

The ute, pictured before it was stolen, was found after a day-long search. Picture: Jemeeka Garwood
The ute, pictured before it was stolen, was found after a day-long search. Picture: Jemeeka Garwood

A family has used a private helicopter and the power of social media to track down an allegedly stolen car through Ravenswood and Newstead over a day-long drama that was described as “like something from a movie”.

Owner of restaurant Yacht Club Fifty Five Jameeka Garwood and her partner Josh Carroll woke on Friday morning to discover that Mr Carroll’s Navara STX ute was missing.

After contacting Tasmania Police, the family decided to go driving in search of the missing vehicle. 

Meanwhile, Miss Garwood’s father Greg Garwood took his personal helicopter up to join the search.

During the day Miss Garwood posted updates on her Facebook profile, with community members across Launceston contributing sightings of the vehicle.

“We found it driving in the bush behind Mayfield in that area, number plates off, the big toolbox on it was taken off … and there was a diesel tank in there as well,” Miss Garwood said.

At midday the trail went cold, before a fresh tip-off on social media saw Mr Garwood take the helicopter back over Rocherlea, where he found the car again.

“They were going 140 kilometres and apparently they took out a few cars on the way,” Miss Garwood said.

“The police were really good, they were being guided by Dad in the helicopter.”

By mid-afternoon she said spikes were used to disable the car.

The vehicle was abandoned in Newstead.

A police spokesman said on late Friday night several people were assisting with their inquiries.

Here’s how it played out on Facebook