Man Uses Facebook to Track Down Deceased Wife's Stolen Ford Mustang GT

The best kind of crowdsourcing. 

Facebook | Dwight Sanders

Another day, another car thief done in by the power of Facebook. A Texas truck driver has been reunited with his stolen 2011 Ford Mustang GT—a car he built up with his wife before she passed away—after a Facebook post he created detailing the theft was shared almost 4,000 times and led to a crucial tip in the case.

According to KPRC 2 News, Dwight Sanders was on the road in Kentucky last Monday when he got the call every homeowner dreads: there had been a break-in at his property back in Baytown, Texas. The thieves allegedly took several guns, a few sets of keys, and most importantly, the Ford Mustang GT that he and his wife Dolores had bought together and spent years customizing before she died of cervical cancer in 2014.

"When they told me the car was gone, it was like my heart dropped. It meant more to me than anything," Sanders told KPRC, adding that it was the last tangible connection he still had to her memory.

With police searching the surrounding area, Sanders decided he could do one better for his dearly-departed wife and wrote up a Facebook post with pictures of the Mustang, asking people to be on the lookout for the stolen car. That proved to be all the difference—the story quickly caught on and was shared almost 4,000 times. Several days later, a stranger messaged him to say they'd seen the distinctive Mustang, license plate and all, in the small town of Magnolia about seventy miles from Sanders' home.

On top of that, the tipster was pretty sure a local man named William "Billy" Deforest was driving it, according to The Courier. Deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office responded to the report and found the Ford Mustang GT (thankfully still the same color) hidden on his property, covered with a tarp and surrounded by junk. In an amusing twist, Deforest rode up to the scene on a bicycle while officers were still processing the car. He was quickly detained, the keys to the Mustang were found in his possession, and the pony car was returned to its rightful owner.

"Social media is wonderful, and honestly, if you’re going to steal a car, why are you going to leave a license plate on there?" Sanders said to KPRC.