SUCCESS: Reporter uses google tracking in week long search for grandpa's car

A man lost his car in an underground parking garage on the 4th of July and reached out to WUSA9 to ask for help finding it.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - A happy ending to a frustrating story.

After a week of searching, a granddad from a Chicago suburb has just found the car he'd lost for a week after forgetting which underground DC parking garage he'd left it in.

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Leonard Faircloth had flown in to buy the eight-year-old Lexus SUV in Virginia and decided to show his granddaughter the sights around the Capitol before heading home.
  
He parked it in an underground garage on the Fourth of July -- only to realize when he went back to get it that he did not have the address.

DC's crisscrossing streets can be confusing for anyone, but even more so for a 71-year-old handyman taking his 9-year-old granddaughter to see the capital. "Just frustrated right now," Jealeen told us via Skype on Wednesday morning.

Faircloth bought the 2009 Lexus RX 350 from a dealer in Arlington on July 3. He drove it into the city to see the fireworks. He says he parked it in an underground garage somewhere inside two big circles, which encompass scores of parking garages. "It's so confusing there," he told me before we helped him find it.

He did get a receipt from the parking attendant, only to realize later that it was a generic one, with no address on it. "I thought I looked at the sign and remembered the two streets. But obviously, I didn't."

After leaving the garage, he and Jaeleen walked awhile, made several turns, and then took this picture at Madison and Pennsylvania Avenue. He stopped at the drug store on 14th Street, he even has a receipt. "I went to the CVS to get some teeth powder."

Jaeleen took a picture on Freedom Plaza. And they spent some time admiring the White House. But when he went back for the car, he realized he had no idea where it was.

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They spent the next three days looking for the garage. "We drove Sunday for maybe three hours," said Faircloth, "I was getting frustrated. And it didn't look like we were going to find it."

They flew home to Illinois that night. "My attitude is, I'll find it one day."

They did! Wednesday morning, I suggested Faircloth go into his Android phone and check location history. Google actually tracks your movements and keeps a record of them.

Wednesday afternoon, with the help of his daughter, he figured that out. They called Nation Parking on 17th Street right by Lafayette Park soon after -- and they had the car!

Makes you feel good sometimes to be a reporter.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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