Facebook ‘detectives’ take just 72 hours to track down recovery truck, Audi and Astra stolen from East Cambridgeshire

Shared images of the robbery at Soham when a Ford Transit and two vehicles were stolen. Within 72 hours the vehicles...

Shared images of the robbery at Soham when a Ford Transit and two vehicles were stolen. Within 72 hours the vehicles became too hot to handle and the vehicles have now been returned to their owner. Picture; FACEBOOK - Credit: Archant

A 72-hour social media campaign waged by an angry victim has helped him recover a stolen recovery truck, an Astra, and a red Audi.

Shared images of the robbery at Soham when a Ford Transit and two vehicles were stolen. Within 72 hours the vehicles...

Shared images of the robbery at Soham when a Ford Transit and two vehicles were stolen. Within 72 hours the vehicles became too hot to handle and the vehicles have now been returned to their owner. Picture; FACEBOOK - Credit: Archant

The campaign was so successful – with photos and CCTV of the stolen vehicles plastered across multiple Facebook sites.

The victim’s friend said intruders broke into a yard in Soham in the early hours of Sunday by cutting through the locals.

They then stole a Transit recovery truck with an Astra on the back and the Audi was parked behind it.

But within hours the stolen vehicles “became too hot to handle” said the victim’s friend.

Shared images of the robbery at Soham when a Ford Transit and two vehicles were stolen. Within 72 hours the vehicles...

Shared images of the robbery at Soham when a Ford Transit and two vehicles were stolen. Within 72 hours the vehicles became too hot to handle and the vehicles have now been returned to their owner. Picture; FACEBOOK - Credit: Archant


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With countless reports of the burglary being shared among friends on Facebook, the Audi was spotted at on Monday morning having been left in a Littleport car park.

“That night we got a call to say the truck had been left for us to pick up at Denver - with the keys in it,” he said.

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Then today (Wednesday) they received word, via Facebook, that the stolen Astra had also been dumped, again in Littleport.

“They nicked them all to sell and probably had someone going to buy them,” said the victim’s friend. “But it obviously got hectic too quick for them with everyone on the case and they gave up the ghost and gave them all back.”

Shared images of the robbery at Soham when a Ford Transit and two vehicles were stolen. Within 72 hours the vehicles...

Shared images of the robbery at Soham when a Ford Transit and two vehicles were stolen. Within 72 hours the vehicles became too hot to handle and the vehicles have now been returned to their owner. Picture; FACEBOOK - Credit: Archant

He said although the police were aware of the thefts, it was left to him and friends to resolve

And he also questioned why a Ford Focus, reported stolen two weeks earlier, had not been tracked down by police.

“Loads of people saw it being driven around – it is bright orange and had been seen in the town and even in a pub car park,” he said.

The victim’s friend said this was “not a new way of tackling crime” and encouraged others to use social media to help find stolen goods.

Shared images of the robbery at Soham when a Ford Transit and two vehicles were stolen. Within 72 hours the vehicles...

Shared images of the robbery at Soham when a Ford Transit and two vehicles were stolen. Within 72 hours the vehicles became too hot to handle and the vehicles have now been returned to their owner. Picture; FACEBOOK - Credit: Archant

He even believes he knows the gang responsible for stealing the vehicles from Soham but will leave police to that.

“Getting the stuff back this way is how things happen,” he said. “People, mostly mates come together and help each other –that’s how it works.”

He added: “You have to ask whether robbery, breaking into people’s homes and stealing is more important than a dog chasing a hare which is often all you see our police doing.”

Shared images of the robbery at Soham when a Ford Transit and two vehicles were stolen. Within 72 hours the vehicles...

Shared images of the robbery at Soham when a Ford Transit and two vehicles were stolen. Within 72 hours the vehicles became too hot to handle and the vehicles have now been returned to their owner. Picture; FACEBOOK - Credit: Archant

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