Man Uses Google Earth, Inadvertently Helps Sheriff's Department Find Stolen Car

PHOTO: SUV recovered with help of Google Earth
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Sometimes playing around with Google Earth actually yields something productive.

A man in George County, Mississippi, who prefers to remain anonymous, was using the virtual globe and mapping system to survey his property this past Sunday when he spotted what he thought was an unauthorized shooting house on his property. He went to look into it and found an SUV parked in the middle of the nearby hunting grounds.

Ben Brown, a lieutenant detective with the Sheriff's Department of George County, met with the man to investigate the SUV further.

"I remembered it from a stolen vehicle case back in March," Brown told ABC News. "We ran the tags through the dispatch and confirmed it was the stolen vehicle."

Though the Sheriff's Department had already arrested a woman for the stolen vehicle using two eyewitness accounts, they couldn't progress much further without the stolen car itself.

"Now that we have the truck, we can pursue the prosecution," said Brown.

So how does a car get mistaken for a building? Brown said that the gray hood of the SUV looked like the tin roof of a shooting house. "You couldn't see that it was part of a vehicle," he said.

The vehicle itself was found deep in hunting territory. Brown estimated that it was parked about 70 yards from the nearest road.

"Honestly, it looked like it was dropped from the sky," he said. "I couldn't tell how exactly it got there, and I've never seen anything like it in my 12 years of law enforcement."

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