A WOMAN has revealed how she tracked down her stolen car after cops failed to find it.
Zoë Pettit, 22, said her worried parents begged her not to track down the missing motor – but she and two university pals solved the crime in a matter of hours.
Business student Zoë shared how she used an Apple AirTag to track down the filched Ford Fiesta.
She was horrified when she woke up for an early gym session and realised her car was missing from the street where it was parked in Selly Oak, Birmingham, last week.
Zoë had tucked the AirTag, a tracking device that can be traced via phone, into the lining of her boot after fellow students told her about a spate of car thefts in the area.
She said: “Every morning I just double check it’s there because you see quite a few posts from people saying their car was stolen overnight.
“I looked up the road and I thought I was going crazy because I couldn’t see it.”
Panicking, Zoë searched the surrounding streets, questioning if she had perhaps parked it somewhere different and it had slipped her mind.
But the 22-year-old couldn’t see it anywhere.
She said: “I went onto my phone and checked the AirTag – and I see that it’s seven miles away from where I am.
“I ran back to my house and I was like ‘girls, my car has been stolen’. I was quite frantic.
“We rang the police, and in all fairness to them they were very helpful.
“They assigned someone straight away and there was an officer driving to where the AirTag was.”
As the tag showed the car was moving, a cop tried to track it down for a few hours, but couldn’t see it.
In the end police gave up the search, leaving Zoë with no choice but to accept defeat and report it as stolen to her insurance provider.
She said: “The police were really helpful and did as much as they could.
“It was about midday at this point, and I found out at nine o’clock my car had been stolen.
“My dad was getting ready to call up my insurance company and tell them it was stolen at this point basically.
“A couple of my housemates came home from their morning lectures, and one of the girls said that she had got her car with her – so why didn’t we just go and try to find it?”
Zoë added: “My parents were like ‘do not drive to the AirTag, whatever you do. Just leave it’.”
However, the girls went anyway, driving half an hour to Saltley, an inner-city area to the east of Birmingham.
She said: “At first we couldn’t find it, we drove around for about 20 minutes and I was just thinking this is bizarre.
“In the end I just thought it’s not there, maybe they chucked the AirTag out of the car, let’s go.”
But a chance left turning as they were leaving the estate led the girls right to the missing white Ford – although its plates had been changed.
“I pressed my car key and it unlocked, I freaked out. I was like ‘Oh my God it’s my car!’”
Zoë called the police who came to assess the situation as the car was close to a residential driveway.
Cops said the car was safe and the girls were allowed to take it back – celebrating with a McDonald’s on the way home.
Attempting to recover a stolen vehicle yourself could expose you to serious danger, and should be avoided.
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