The Waynesboro, VA, police were stumped. A woman had been killed in a hit-and-run accident, and they had no description of the vehicle; just a piece of metal that had been left at the scene thanks to the impact. In frustration, they posted a photo of the metal chunk online, which you can see to your right, and asked for help.
Then Jalopnik, a car blog, picked up the story and its commenters got to work.
Jalopnik readers quickly narrowed the search to a Ford F-150, and then figured out the year and possible trim level based on that. In a few days, the Waynesboro PD had two men in custody for the crime. Yeah.
Crowdsourcing is becoming increasingly important beyond putting together flash mobs and performing viral marketing stunts, and moments like this demonstrate why: it gives us the ability to pull on a vast network of knowledge we can only dream of to solve real world problems.
And, hey, now that guy who’s been obsessed with pickup trucks can tell anybody making fun of his hobby that he solved a freaking crime with it.
(Image courtesy Waynesboro PD)