Catch up on shows with The Coast On Demand
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Twitter has become an unlikely superhero in a bizarre carjacking case in Johannesburg, South Africa. According to a report published by thenextweb.com, a South African was carjacked over the weekend and forced into the boot of his car. The man, who still had his mobile phone in his possession, reportedly sent an SMS to his girlfriend, Lynn Peters (@onebadvillynn) who used the social networking site to spread the word about her partner's situation. "Be on the look for DSS041GP my boyufriend (sic) has just been hijacked and is in the boot please RT," Peters tweeted. Her followers apparently re-tweeted her post, before Johannesburg-based tweeter @PigSpotter - who has a following of more than 100,000 users and whose main purpose is to warn road users about speeding traps around the South African city - tweeted: "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". The user then updated his followers with the status of the search. "UPDATE: Hijacked car is now heading towards Kroonstad. Police are en route and tracing the active cell phone," @PigSpotter tweeted. According to thenextweb.com, the car was then tracked via the victim's mobile phone, with a security company locating the car via GPS. A roadblock was set, and the hijackers allegedly abandoned the car with the owner still in the boot. A friend of the victim tweeted the news. "Just received a call, the police have found him his in Ventersberg! He is okay just shaken up thank you to everyone for all the help!!" wrote Tanisha Reddy. "We have such amazing people helping us in this country who don't even get recognition for the work they do! Thank you again." South African newspaper The Star spoke to @PigSpotter after the event, and the Twitter user says this shows just how effective social networking sites can be as tools for public safety. "This is not the first incident where someone has been rescued, or a vehicle has been retrieved as a direct result of tweeting me and it being [retweeted], and reaching the correct people at the exact moment."