Facebook helped Altoona police nab two women accused of stealing a minivan.
Fatimah E. Guthrie, 19, of 1510 12th St. and Hillary A. Ott, 19, of 2310 Sixth Ave. were arraigned Thursday morning by Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey P. Auker on felony theft-related charges after police were provided a picture of the pair walking away from the stolen van on Dec. 3.
According to police, the gold Mazda MPV minivan was reported stolen in Altoona on Dec. 1. Two days later, police posted a picture of the same make, color and model minivan on Facebook and asked people to keep an eye out for the van.
Police said they received a call that same day from a woman who spotted the van and followed it. The witness reported seeing both Guthrie and Ott behind the wheel at some point, and the caller snapped a photo of two women who walked away from the van after it was parked near the Simpson-Temple United Parish on the 2200 block of Sixth Avenue.
Once that picture was posted on the department's Facebook page, the tips poured in, and even Guthrie and Ott contacted police, Sgt. Brian Freiwald said.
A key to the minivan was found hidden in a wall at Ott's residence, police said.
Guthrie was lodged in Blair County Prison in lieu of $5,000 cash bond, and Ott was released on a $5,000 unsecured bond. Preliminary hearings are slated for Wednesday at Central Court.