BAYTOWN, Texas – A Baytown man used the power of social media to track down his 2011 Ford Mustang GT after someone stole the car and other items from his home.
Thanks to his post, which was shared on Facebook more than 3,000 times, investigators were able to find it.
Dwight Sanders is a truck driver and was on a job in Kentucky last Monday when his neighbor called him and told Sanders that someone kicked in the door.
“You can see they tried to go in through the window right there,” Sanders said. “That didn’t work, so they kicked the door in and went in that a way.”
Sanders’ neighbors called Baytown police on July 23, and he also posted to Facebook that several guns, keys, titles and his 2011 Ford Mustang GT had been stolen.
“When they told me the car was gone, it was like my heart dropped. It meant more to me than anything,” said Sanders.
He and his wife, Dolores, bought the car brand new in 2011 and worked on customizing it for years after.
“It was me and my wife’s project,” said Sanders. “She was a wonderful person, she was too good for me. She was a great person, everybody loved her. She never made an enemy. She was just a great person.”
Dolores died in 2014 from cervical cancer. Sanders says the Mustang is more than just a car, it’s the last memory he has of his wife.
“This is all we have left to tie up with her, and it means a lot to us and the family,” said Sanders.
After the post was shared numerous times, someone contacted the victim via Facebook, saying he or she had seen the Mustang in the Hazy Hollow area of Magnolia.
When Montgomery County deputies went to investigate, they said they found the vehicle in the 33900 block of Laurel Lane.
“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.
Deputies said the suspect, William Deforest, tried to hide the Mustang by covering it with a tarp and placing other items around it.
Deputies detained Deforest and said they found the keys to the stolen Mustang in Deforest's pocket.
Deforest was arrested for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
The Mustang was returned to its owner.
Sanders believes it was a family friend who was staying with him who directed thieves to his home. He said that person and another are considered suspects.