The marketing director for On The Move Inc. (OTM), a provider rental moving trucks for self-storage and other business and a dealer of used cars, recently used her sleuthing skills and the power of Facebook to help police recover a vehicle that was stolen from the company’s parking lot in Boerne, Texas, on July 2. The 2008 Infinity was featured in OTM’s quarterly newsletter, which was released on July 1, according to a Fox 29 news report. Because the company was closed for three days for the holiday, the theft wasn’t discovered until the following Monday. Surveillance video didn’t provided many clues to who the thief might be, and investigators told CJ Steen there was a slim chance the vehicle would be found.
Steen told Fox 29 she immediately suspected a man who test drove the vehicle on July 2. She conducted an online search of the man’s name and discovered she and the driver had 13 mutual friends on Facebook, including her husband. Steen asked her Facebook friends to be on the lookout for the stolen vehicle or other incriminating posts made by the man.
“I took it upon myself, that I know so many people that know this guy, that I’m going to be able to find my vehicle,” Steen said.
A mutual friend found a picture on the man’s Facebook page on Sept. 22 that featured a car similar to the stolen vehicle. The car had been modified and included a large decal across the windshield that stated, “Dopeboi.”
Believing it was the vehicle she was searching for, Steen drove to the man’s home in Comfort, Texas, armed with the vehicle-identification number and registration. “I drove by, saw the car pulling up and called the cops,” Steen said. When police arrived, they verified it was the stolen vehicle and also uncovered several other stolen cars.
“I’m a marketing director, so I use [Facebook] all the time to promote my products; but to use it to solve a crime is pretty special,” Steen said.
The car is currently in a police impound lot, but will be returned to OTM soon, according to Fox 29. The news report didn’t name the 27-year-old man because he hasn’t been charged.
Founded in 1992, OTM offers a commercial truck-lease program to self-storage and other industries. The company also sells used vehicles at its Boerne headquarters, and offers self-storage-specific insurance products through On the Move Insurance Agency.