Social media aids in arrest

Stolen car recovered at McDonald’s

By Nikki Blankenship -

Portsmouth Police locate a vehicle stolen from Ashland area.

Nikki Blankenship | Daily Times

Portsmouth Police Department helped recover a car stolen, taken from the Ashland, Ky., area Monday morning after tips came in from social media.

Jared Johnson, of Stockdale, explained that his girlfriend Sunshine Castle, of Ashland, woke up to discover her car had gone missing over night.

Johnson explained that Castle had been having a bad few weeks. The couple’s dog had recently passed away. Then, while at work yesterday afternoon, Castle, who is a bar manager, found out that she would be losing her job due to the bar closing just short of her six year anniversary with the company. After work Sunday, Castle decided to go out with friends.

“She had a bad day and went out to Fat Patty’s to have a drink,” Johnson stated.

Since she had been drinking, Castle called Johnson for a ride home, thinking the vehicle would be safe in the parking lot.

Monday morning Castle awoke to texts from a friend saying he had just seen her in town and asking why she was awake so early. Still in bed, Castle and Johnson were immediately concerned. When Castle explained she was home and had left her car at Fat Patty’s the night before, the friend went to the establishment to check on the vehicle. Castle’s car was no longer there.

“I said, ‘We need to put it on Facebook right now,’” Johnson commented.

Johnson and Castle posted a photo of the car with other information including the tag number. Quickly, reports were coming in as people reported seeing the vehicle in Ironton and then Portsmouth.

Johnson explained that a friend in the Portsmouth area had seen his post and called him. While on the phone, the friend passed the car. Johnson and Castle rushed to Portsmouth.

“It’s a pretty unmistakable car,” Johnson commented about the black vehicle with gold rims and a rack on top.

Johnson, Castle and Johnson’s friend canvassed Portsmouth, concerned because Castle had left several hundred dollars she had earned in tips, her debit card, makeup, hiking gear and house keys in the vehicle.

Finally, a random tip from a Facebook user led Johnson, Castle and Portsmouth Police to McDonald’s on Gallia Street in Portsmouth.

Johnson stated the Facebook user followed the car through the McDonald’s drive-thru until police arrived at the scene.

Castle stated that when she arrived at her car, police had one male and one female in custody. Officers allowed Castle to go through the car to get her belongings.

“My car is full of needles,” Castle stated. “My make-up pallet is sitting out where she (the female found in the car) was using my make-up, so I’m going to have to throw it away. I reached in the console, and there were two needles in the console. There’s needles all over my floorboard. There’s drugs all over my car. It’s scary.”

Johnson stated that Castle had lost a spare key in the car and never found it. He was assuming the person who stole the car must have found the key. He added that some things were missing and there had been minor damage to the vehicle.

“I’m just so glad we found it,” Johnson said.

Portsmouth Police confirmed that the car was recovered as a result of a tip that had been called in and further confirmed that needles were found in the car. Police were not able to release the names of suspects at this time.

Portsmouth Police locate a vehicle stolen from Ashland area. Police locate a vehicle stolen from Ashland area. Nikki Blankenship | Daily Times
Stolen car recovered at McDonald’s

By Nikki Blankenship

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.


4:36 pm |    
Shawnee Forest fights fires
4:27 pm
Updated: 4:31 pm. |    
33 Indicted in drug ring
1:58 pm
Updated: 12:07 pm. |    
Two shootings, one dead