A brewery got its stolen van back in just 42 minutes after offering free beer for its safe return.
The firm put the appeal on social media after CCTV showed three people stealing the vehicle from Charlotte, North Carolina in the early hours of Monday.
The Unknown Brewery Company posted: “Whoever finds it, Brad will buy you a keg party! If you stole it and bring it back, you will also get a keg party (smile for the camera). Please DM us if you see it.”
The distinctive black and green van was tracked down in under an hour after 15 people contacted them with tips, with Instagram user Caroline Klimowski the first to spot it.
“A lot of tips came in from fans of the brewery who lived in the area and saw the obvious neon van, proving it was probably not a good idea to steal a brightly coloured well-known brewery vehicle,” the company said on Facebook.
It also laughed off suggestions the whole thing was a publicity stunt.
“Yes, that would be hilarious but, we assure you that we couldn’t make this s*** up,” they said.
To celebrate the van’s speedy recovery, the brewery said it would produce a special beer named “Van Theft Auto”, selling for 25 cents a pint (20p) to cover the taxes.
“That’s as close to a free keg party as we can do for you,” said the brewery.
The company said the thieves are suspected of using the van to commit more than 10 car break-ins before abandoning it.