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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 January, 2004, 18:50 GMT
Speed fans track stolen car
Vin Diesel
The car was made famous by the hit Vin Diesel film
A thief who stole a 160mph sports car featured in the hit film The Fast and The Furious was caught with the help of car fanatics.

Shane Pearce was distraught when his rare 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse 2.0 GST Turbo was stolen from Barton-upon-Humber, North Lincolnshire, by a man posing as a buyer.

He alerted car fanatics throughout the north and they were soon spotting the stolen vehicle in areas from Nottinghamshire to the Scottish Borders.

When the Mitsubishi - a replica of one featured in the Vin Diesel Hollywood blockbuster - was spotted in Carlisle three days later, police pounced.

Five police vehicles used a rolling road block before the car was finally stopped and the driver arrested.

Mr Pearce said he was determined to find the car - bought for 7,000 and souped up for another 8,000 - after it was snatched on 3 January.

Net closes

But after the word went out, it was spotted in Doncaster on Saturday; Nottingham, Mansfield and Scotch Corner on Sunday; Grimsby and Dumfries on Monday; and finally Carlisle on Tuesday at 2215 GMT.

Mr Pearce said: "With the internet, car clubs and enthusiasts' clubs behind me that thief was never going to get away."

The 22-year-old was inundated with more than 200 phone calls and text messages during the hunt for the stolen car.

He revealed the thief was even cheeky enough to show off the Mitsubishi, one of only 60 in the UK, at meetings of illegal racers.

Humberside Police said a 23-year-old man had been arrested and was being questioned in Scunthorpe.

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