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The Inertia

John Brandenburg has a pretty sweet setup. And it’ll only make you a little jealous. He and a couple of friends bought this 1982 snow-cat so they could mine their favorite backcountry area for turns with their families near Minturn, Colo.. The cat is painted like the “General Lee,” from that one television series, what’s it called? Oh yeah, the Dukes of Hazard.

Well, the other day, he and his groms showed up to use the cat but the big machine was missing, ghosted away in the Colorado night. Of course before calling police, he posted to his minions on Facebook that the cat had been stolen.

That started a domino affect as vigilante internet justice went full bore. Some 30 people messaged Brandenburg that they’d seen the cat being towed behind a tiny Toyota truck on I-70.

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Then a woman near Grand Junction saw the cat and followed it to the theif’s abode before notifying local sheriffs. Police surrounded 27-year-old Jason Cuervo’s residence. Cuervo then barricaded himself inside before a SWAT team showed up. Somehow, Cuervo escaped, how he escaped isn’t readily clear given that he was surrounded by Colorado’s finest. But the cat was recovered along with other stolen merchandise.

“Look at social media and you think it’s useless,” said Brandenburg, who bought the ‘General,’ off eBay with several friends and says it’s become a full-time job to take care of. But worth it. “In reality, when it comes time for people to pull it together and do stuff the right way, (social media makes it) happen.”

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