Man says his stolen car spotted on Instagram before chase ends by Mecklenburg Co. Jail
The crime comes after a rise in car thefts targeting Hyundais and Kias over the summer.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Two juveniles were apprehended following a police chase Tuesday morning that ended by the Mecklenburg County Jail.
Officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department were alerted to a license plate reader hit for a stolen Hyundai Tucson, according to a news release.
The owner of the car, Andrew Chiarelli, said he parked his Hyundai on Morton Street Sunday night, and when he woke up to go to work Monday morning his car was nowhere to be found.
“I started beeping for it, but couldn’t find it. My buddy came out, and we went and called all the tow truck companies. No one could find the car; no one towed it,” Chiarelli said.
He noted it wasn’t until Tuesday’s police chase that he found out exactly what happened to his car.
“I actually got a call from my friend, and he was like ‘Hey man, I think I just saw your car live on Instagram.’ And I was like ‘What do you mean it’s on Instagram?’ And he was like ‘Dude, check this out,’” said Chiarelli.
The CMPD’s Aviation Unit found the car, which traveled “erratically” and ran red lights until it crashed into a truck by the Mecklenburg County Jail.
Officers say the driver and the passenger ran from the Tucson after they wrecked. One of the juveniles was apprehended in the parking deck and the second near the scene of the crash.
The crime comes after a rise in car thefts over the summer, stemming from the “Kia Challenge.”
Criminals would “hot wire” cars – mainly Kias and Hyundais – using a USB cord. Most commonly, the suspects would be juveniles, according to a CMPD officer interviewed in July.
Read also: Car thefts on the rise, dangerous social media challenge causing concern
Until Chiarelli gets a new car, he says he is trying to remain positive about the situation.
“Everything happens. I’m sure I’ll bounce back from it. In the meantime, I’m just gonna Uber to work and try to find a car if I can and just hope that insurance doesn’t take too long,” he said.
This is an active investigation. For the latest updates on this and other breaking news stories, download the free WBTV News app today.
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