Facebook group tackling car thefts gains popularity in the QC

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WILTON, Iowa -- In the Quad Cities vehicle thefts are such a problem that there's a Facebook group devoted to being a watchdog and reuniting owners with their vehicles.

The group is called "QCA stolen vehicles." It was started in the fall of 2017 by Clinton Fanning from Wilton, Iowa.  Fanning said seeing numerous stolen cars posts in the Facebook classifieds inspired him to create a specific group.

"We're looking for awareness of what cars have been stolen," Fanning said. That's the point of the group. To come together as a community and help each other locate our cars.

After creating the group, Fanning said he once spotted a vehicle out on the road that was reportedly stolen and posted to the group's page.  Because he recognized it from the page, he was able to report it to police.

He shared his concerns about the rise in juveniles committing these crimes.

"It's not right because these kids should be in school," he said. "They should be getting an education and they should be building a future."

Since its creation, the group has gained more than 1,100 members. Because of it's popularity, Fanning has added four moderators to keep track of posts and add new members.

"The page is closed," explained Fanning, "it requires approval to join and so we did that mainly for the sake of safety..." trying to prevent anyone who's sharing information from becoming a target.

Fanning said the group helps bring in community involvement, ultimately getting more eyes out there to tip off police.

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