Social Media Sleuths Help Man Track Down Rare Stolen 1970s Ferrari

While social media certainly has its flaws, the ability to tap into a massive network of individuals with nothing more than a few keystrokes on a touchscreen can come in handy, too.

Take the case of Cameron Smith, for example. When the Melbourne man clocked out of work at 5:30 p.m. local time yesterday, he was dismayed to see that his red mid-1970s Ferrari 400 was missing. The rare car had been stolen, according to In what he thought would be a futile effort to recover it, Smith posted about the theft on the Facebook page of his car club, Highball. It couldn't hurt to publicize the crime, he figured. But his hopes weren't high.

"At that point, I thought it was never going to be seen again," he told the Melbourne radio show 3AW Breakfast on Tuesday. "I was pretty annoyed, as you could imagine."

One of Smith's friends also put out a call for leads on his business's Instagram account, @grafico_auto. The account boasts 10.6k followers, so it has a relatively wide reach.

"STOLEN from South Yarra recently. Please share and assist with any info!" the post reads, followed by the hashtags #ferrari, #stolen, #stolenferrari, and #stolenmelboure. It currently has 105 likes.

To Smith's surprise, someone messaged within 20 minutes to say that they'd spotted the Ferrari. "It's not a very common car, there's only maybe 300 or 400 in the world, so you don't see them very often," he told 3AW Breakfast, according to

The tipster, identified only as "Tony," informed Smith's friend that the car was sitting in a car park in the suburb of Clayton. "One hundred percent, mate, it's your car, same rego, and it's sitting down there right now," he told Smith, according to

Tony had his cousin stand watch over the car until Smith, who had headed home to pour himself a drink after alerting police, his workplace's security team, and his insurance company to the theft made it over. Not even pausing to change out of his pajamas, Smith hightailed it over to the car park, where he found his car barely worse for wear. While the car's ignition barrel had been removed, it was otherwise fine, reported. Police are currently checking it for fingerprints.

In a follow-up to his original post, Smith's friend praised his followers for their eagle eyes.

"Thanks to one of our AMAZING followers this classic #Ferrari was found tonight and reunited with its ecstatic owner!!! Thank you so much to our followers - the power of social media has really been shown tonight!!" he wrote.

Founded in 2004, Grafico offers a range of cosmetic services for cars, including vehicle wrapping and caliper painting, according to the business's website.

The advent of social media has made it easier, if not exactly easy, to track down mystery people and missing items. In April, for example, a TikToker named Hayley discovered the identity of a handsome firefighter who had saved her from an elevator with the help of the platform. Last July, the owners of a Massachusetts store found a mystery musician who had enchanted customers by playing the classic Journey song "Don't Stop Believin'" on the store's piano after sharing a video of his performance on Facebook.

An Instagram post depicts a stolen Ferrari.
An Australian man was reunited with his rare 1970s Ferrari shortly after it was stolen, thanks to the work of social media users who spotted the car in a parking lot. Instagram/@grafico_auto