A Northstate man is using the power of social media and the eyes of the community to track down and recover stolen cars.
Brandon Tomsich admits he’s been through a rough patch in his life. Now, he’s working to right wrongs in the Northstate.
"When you start helping other people out, you know, it makes you feel good too," said Tomsich.
About a week ago, he created a Facebook page called Nor Cal Auto Theft Recovery, after his Uncle’s 1965 red Chevy Nova was stolen. He posted photos of the car, tagged a bunch of his friends and within two hours had received phone calls from complete strangers that they had spotted the hotrod heading up toward Burney.
“I alerted the Sheriff’s Department,” said Tomsich. “Within a few hours officers found the suspect inside the car.”
In recent years, vehicle thefts in Redding have skyrocketed according National Insurance Crime Bureau. In 2011, the city of Redding was ranked #40 in the nation for the most stolen cars. In just one year, car thefts in Redding pushed the city to the 10th in the nation for 2012 .
With a significant increase in stolen cars in the community he grew up in, Tomsich said he wants to do all he can to reduce those numbers.
"I didn't think it was going to turn out like it did. And I'm thinking maybe if this whole community gets together, then maybe we can actually make a difference in the car thefts because I know it's really high,” said Tomsich.
In the time the Facebook page has been up, Tomsich said he has been able to help at least three people get their cars back. There are more than 250 “Likes” on the Nor Cal Auto Theft Recovery page, and more than 1,500 people viewing each of his recent posts of stolen cars.
Tomsich believes those are all extra eyes on the road, scanning for stolen cars.