A South African man (whose name has not been released) got a lucky break on Sunday when his kidnappers stuffed him into the boot of his car with his mobile phone, which he used to send a text to his girlfriend, Lynn Peters. What Peters did next ended up saving his life.
Perhaps because the police forces in South Africa have a not-great reputation, Peters turned to Twitter for help: “Be on the look for DSS041GP my boyufriend [sic] has just been hijacked and is in the boot please RT.”
Peters herself has only 96 followers at of the time of publication, but one of them saw the message and retweeted, bringing it to the attention of Pigspotter, the handle of a roadblock notification service in Johannesburg with over 110,000 followers. As Ars Technica reports:
Because @pigspotter’s followers include a large number of private security forces, whose vehicles are spread around the country, the Golf was located. Units were notified and in many cases sent out, each team and company retweeted the specifics of their search and kept each other apprised and informed on Twitter.
The most incredible part of this story may just be that the guy was actually able to get signal from within the boot of a moving car. [Ars Technica]