WILDWOOD, Mo. – A Wildwood family had a high-end car stolen right out of their garage as they slept.
Police later caught the suspect, 19-year-old Roy Lee Matthews III. Authorities credited the victims’ use of Facebook with helping to crack the case.
The car’s owner, Lane Pietro, said the 2011 Audi R8 was worth close to $100,000. Pietro, who owns Lane’s Professional Car Products & Detailing, described the vehicle as a show car.
After his wife posted an alert that it was stolen, she got responses showing people posing with it on Facebook.
Those posts led investigators to the suspect, St. Louis County Police said.
“My wife started getting all these pictures coming in from Facebook,” Pietro said. “She saw pictures of the car. She saw the car wrecked. She knew more than the police at first. We pretty much had a good case at that point that we just kind of shuffled to the police department.”
The night after it was stolen, someone crashed the Audi into another vehicle on the St. Louis riverfront just south of the Arch. The driver of the stolen Audi ran off; two people in the other car were not hurt, said St. Louis police.
The Audi was totaled.
The victims said they’re not sure how Matthews got into their garage, which was locked.
Police suspect Matthews or an accomplice used a garage door opener from a car parked in the driveway.
Pietro’s wallet and credit cards were stolen from another car in the garage.
He and his family slept through it all. His teen daughter had two friends sleeping over.
“I’m right above the garage and never heard anything,” she said. “When you’re in the garage, you’re a step away from coming in the house,” Pietro said. “As far as I’m concerned, they were right there.”
Just before his car was stolen, another stolen car with a flat tire was dumped in his neighborhood. Investigators believe the cases are related.
Pietro’s stolen credit card was also used in the city within an hour of being stolen, police said.
No one’s been charged in that case yet.