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Seattle police fight auto theft with Twitter

The new CEO of Twitter may not know what Twitter is good for, but the Seattle Police Department has figured it out. Escalating car thefts have led the department to create a Twitter account called @getyourcarback, which tweets out a description of stolen vehicles as reports come in. From January through October, 3,011 cars were stolen in the City of Seattle, an average of 9.9 cars a day.

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“I believe that this program will integrate seamlessly into our strategy to prevent and reduce auto theft in Seattle,” said Chief Diaz. ” It will also serve to increase public awareness on the subject.”

The account already has more than 650 followers since it was announced on Wednesday. The department tweets the color, year, make, model, body style, and license plate of stolen vehicles as reports come in. It’s up to individuals to call 911 if they spot a stolen vehicle. All 911 calls are screened to ensure that car information is correctly matched and to make sure that the car has not been returned to its owner. The SPD also has its own blog page and Twitter account. If “Get Your Car Back” is successful, the department will consider setting up accounts for community alerts and traffic information.

Does any Gov’t entity around you use Twitter creatively like this? Do you think it will work?