Observant Neighbor Spots Truck that was Reported Stolen

SACRAMENTO -- After a Sacramento man's truck was stolen, a diligent neighbor with a watchful eye was able to help the victim get it back, and notify him using a community-based app. The experience has become the foundation for an unlikely friendship.

Roland Brady endearingly refers to his white 4Runner truck as "Sparrow."

"I got to my first job site, there was a dead sparrow in the grill that I must've hit driving. Truck didn't have a name yet, and I thought, 'OK, that's it, Sparrow’s the name,'" said Brady, who works as a geologist.

He counts on his truck to get him to rugged work sites, and when necessary, he camps out of the back.

"This is my livelihood,” Brady said referring to the truck.

That’s why he was so upset when Sparrow was stolen more than a week ago, right from the street in front of his Sacramento home. He posted a notice about it on the app Nextdoor, a digital community forum.

"I put a note in the Nextdoor bulletin that my car had been stolen, but I wasn't real optimistic I'd get it back,” said Brady.

Luckily for him, whoever stole Sparrow tried to hide it in Dan Aderholt's neighborhood. Aderholt doesn’t miss much.

"I walk this all hours of the night, I know what cars belong here and what cars don't,” said Aderholt. He says he patrols until 4 a.m. some nights.

Aderholt and another neighbor started a neighborhood watch for his apartment community in the River District just south of Discovery Park. He says he's got an eye for stolen cars.

"Oh, it's obvious it's stolen, I grew up in Pittsburg, Bay Area, California. I know cars are stolen when I see them,” said Aderholt.

When he saw Brady’s 4Runner parked outside his complex, with a bunch of stuff in the back, he got suspicious. Not only did he report it to CHP, he remembered seeing Brady's Nextdoor post and responded to it.

"He said Seventh Street on his ad. I'm like wait a minute, is that the car I found?” said Aderholt. Officers filed a report, and Brady had his truck back the following day.

Aderholt and Brady met for the first time Tuesday morning, as FOX40 cameras were rolling.

"Thanks to Aderholt, Sparrow is safe at home,” said Brady.

While Aderholt believes he was only fulfilling his duty as a good neighbor, there's a lesson to be learned.

"One person can change everything. All you got to do is keep an eye on your neighbor's back, help each other as a community,” said Aderholt, “It's rewarding helping people."

CHP officers say they still haven't found the people responsible for stealing the truck. Both Aderholt and Brady say they're extremely thankful for officers’ help.