'I used Google Earth to track down my stolen car from Snapchat crooks'

‘I used Google Earth to track down my stolen car after thieves put it up for sale on Snapchat’: Tech-savvy owner, 23, calls police after crooks demanded he pay £2,000 to get his motor back

A motorist who had two cars stolen from his own driveway says he was able to locate one of them on Google Earth after the brazen thief tried to sell it back to him for a £2000 ransom on Snapchat. 

Jayy Robinson, 23, says he had left his Volkswagen Golf and Seat Ateca parked on his driveway at his home in Birmingham and awoke on Friday to find they had gone. 

As he slept, burglars had crept into his home and swiped the keys before driving away and advertising the sale of the vehicle on Snapchat. 

After becoming aware of the scam thanks to a friend, Jayy asked the burglars to return his car and was told they would only do so if they received a £2000 ransom. 

They then sent a blurry video of the Seat parked in a random spot to prove they still had it – something which proved to be their undoing. 

Jayy (left) was stunned to see his cars had vanished (Pictured: Jayy Robinson and girlfriend Jodie Mortiboys)

The crooks sent a blurry video of the Seat parked in a random spot to prove they still had it

The car had been moved to an estate in West Bromwich after it was stolen 

After using Google Earth to pinpoint the car’s location at a housing estate in West Bromwich, Jayy informed the police who responded within 15 minutes and retrieved the Seat. 

It has now been sent for forensic examination.

The devastated engineer posted details of the brazen theft on social media after being left ‘unimpressed’ with the actions of police.

Jayy said: ‘I was due to go to work at 6am, went downstairs and both cars were gone, I was devastated’.

However an eagle-eyed friend called Jamie, spotted someone trying to sell Jayy’s Seat on a Snapchat story which included a blurry video of the car parked up.

Jamie began messaging the thief on Snapchat who was demanding £2,000 to return the vehicle and ‘gained their trust by being friendly to them.’

Meanwhile tech savvy Jamie helped Jayy do a reverse image search of the building the car was parked next to and managed to triangulate the location after spotting the name of a housing estate on a wheelie bin.

The pair then used Google Earth to identify the exact street where the vehicle was parked before calling police.

After notifying police, Jayy was then able to recover the Seat which was found ‘parked up with no one around’ in West Bromwich, just six miles away from his home in Birmingham.

The message the thief sent  to Jayy Robinson’s friend after they had stolen the car

The car has has now been sent for forensic examination by the police 

Jay said: ‘I didn’t know what to say when I saw it, I was amazed, I tried my keys and the car unlocked straight away so I knew it was mine.

‘I didn’t think they would be that stupid to leave the car in the same spot I at least thought it would be in a different place.’

But Jay was less than impressed with West Midlands Police.

He said: ‘I called them on Saturday afternoon for an update but they told me it hadn’t even been allocated yet.

‘I then called them on Sunday and they said it was still pending allocation, I wouldn’t have got the Seat back if I hadn’t taken matters into my own hands.’

Jayy’s Volkswagen Golf, worth £16,000, has still yet to be found.

West Midlands Police said: ‘We received a call just after 6.30am on Friday (27 Oct) that two vehicles had been stolen overnight from Poole House Road, Great Barr. One of the vehicles has been recovered.

‘Anyone with any information is asked to contact us via LiveChat on our website or call 101 quoting 20/936025/23.’

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