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Twitter-powered search helps save carjacking victim

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A Johannesburg man was saved from a carjacking thanks to a fast-thinking Twitter campaign and a police roadblock.

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A Johannesburg man was saved from a carjacking thanks to his assailants forgetting to take his cellphone, and the power of Twitter. The man was driving through Honeydew in north-west Johannesburg on Saturday evening when two armed men forced him into the boot of his car. Thankfully, he had managed to hang onto his cellphone, sending a text to his girlfriend who took to Twitter to spread the word.

Soon, the tweet reached @PigSpotter, a user more normally associated with alerting people to police speed traps and roadblocks, who shared it with his 109,000 followers including a number of private security firms eager to help in the search.

One — K9 Law Enforcement — was able to use his cellphone number to obtain his location: his car was driving down the N1 at speed. Despite efforts by the firm and others to intercept the car, ultimately police intervention came into play, with the thieves driving straight into a roadblock. The victim was unhurt, and is now back in Johannesburg along with his car.