East Bay Residents Help Owners Reunite With Their Stolen Cars

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Two East Bay residents are aiming to help reunite people with their stolen cars.

SeeClickFix.com was the first site that came to mind when Jennifer Zilliac noticed an abandoned van that was left on her block last month.

“This car had been here for quite a while,” she said.

But after Zilliac realized the website was filled with a list of abandoned car reports from all parts of the city, she decided to do some of the legwork herself.

“I walked outside and looked at the side of the van and there used to be a company name and phone number on there,” she said.

Zilliac dialed that number, found out the company had recently sold the van to a couple from San Francisco, who were using it for a side business.

“They had just bought it a few months ago and then it was stolen, so that was obviously upsetting but anyway they were really happy to get it back,” she said.

Zilliac’s neighbor David Coleman knows what that satisfaction feels like.

“These cars were dumped, I opened the door, their personal information was there and I was able to contact them,” he said.

Coleman told NBC Bay Area Wednesday he’s tracked down the owners of seven stolen cars dumped in his neighborhood.

“The last two cars were both Priuses, and the people seemed very surprised that a citizen would call them,” Coleman said.

According to Oakland's 311 page, once a request for service is reviewed and assigned to a work group, “completion times vary.” For these two neighborhood detectives, you never know how far a bit of poking around can get you.

“It’s personal satisfaction I don’t want my property stolen and if it was, I would hope someone would track me down,” Zilliac said.

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