Social Media Sleuths Help Find YouTube Star’s Stolen Lotus in Paris
A 4am gunpoint heist of YouTube phenom Seb Delanney ends in tears—of joy.
In the early morning hours in Paris, France, last night, Seb Delanney—a friend of The Drive known on YouTube as sebdelanney and Instagram as @sebdelanney—was blocked in by gun wielding thugs and his Lotus Elise Club Racer was carjacked.
If you're a car enthusiast, you know Seb from his passionate YouTube and Instagram coverage of cars in Monaco and around the world—including the RWBBrooklyn build at The Drive Garage.
Immediately after the holdup, Delanney and his passenger Josh Appleton reported the crime to the Paris police. As he waited for them to file their report, Delanney activated his vast social media network to find the criminals and his beloved Lotus.
The wheels of justice and Instagram turn fast. From Delanney's Instagram platform of 125,000, it was picked up by Delanney's friends at ItsWhiteNoise and The Drive, and from there it went international, immediately reaching a combined crew of more than 50 million friends and fans on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube.
"Folks - our good friend @sebdelanney just had his lotus stolen at gunpoint in Paris. Can you all put the word out and lets us know if you see or hear anything about the incident or the car."
While Delanney was with the police, sightings of the car outside of Paris began to come in, along with photos.
The Delanney posted:
"MY CAR WAS SEEN! At the Total petrol station at 'Villiers Le Bel' heading in direction of Sarcelles. If you see the car PLEASE report it to the police and try and get a detailed location! Also I want to say a HUGE thank you to you all for the amazing support you have shown in trying to get the word out. I can't begin to express how grateful I am. Now let's do this together and try and use the power of social media to get the car back. I am still in shock but just trying as hard as possible to get the car back, Thanks again for the incredible support you have shown."
The police followed the reports in realtime, and within hours the gendarme tracked down the car, which is in unknown condition.
"THECARHASBEENFOUND! Thepolicehaveitnow, notsurewhatkindofastateit'sin, headingovertothepolicestationinafewhours, moreinformationtofollow. Thiswasthankstoyouguysandyourhelp, youareincredibleandThisisabsolutelyamazing!"
As of this writing, the suspects are in custody. Stay tuned to The Drive for more details.