Nashville woman tracks down stolen van, hangs for dear life to get it back

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It was a wild and scary ride for a woman left dangling from the window of her stolen car.

That woman is crediting a Facebook app for helping her track down the stolen minivan, but she had no idea what was about to happen when she tried to get it back last Friday.

Jennifer Barnes told News 2 she suspected an old friend may have taken her minivan back in June, so she looked up her friend of eight years on Facebook’s “Find My Friend” app.

(Photo: WKRN)

She was able to track the woman to Hermitage.

“The gas station sat to the right, and there they sat right there at the gas station,” Barnes told News 2.

That’s when Barnes jumped into the van. Her husband was following the stolen car, watching his wife dangle out of the window.

It was a scene that could’ve easily been ripped out of an action-packed movie. Barnes was hanging on for dear life.

“He tried opening the door. He tried pushing me out the window,” she explained.

“I jumped through the passenger window and went on a ride. We were probably doing 100 mph on Matterhorn Drive with me hanging out the window, and my supposedly best friend punching me in the head, and her boyfriend was yelling, ‘Get her out! Push her out!'” she continued.

(Photo: WKRN)

She was thrown inside when the car thief took a sharp turn. Finally, when the van came to a stop, Barnes grabbed the keys and turned the van off.

“My husband pulls the vehicle in front of theirs and comes out and pulls the driver’s side door and told them to get out, get out of the van,” Barnes said.

The three people inside made a run for it. And looking back, Barnes says she would do things differently.

“I got kids, I got babies, and I really acted in dumbness,” Barnes told News 2. “I should have thought it through because that was probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever been through my life.”

Barnes drove the van back to Smyrna and called Rutherford County Sheriff’s deputies.

Inside, deputies found 66 needles, drugs, rings, watches, a bolt cutter, and other tools authorities believe were used to burglarize homes and vehicles.

The suspects are still on the run. Barnes is planning on pressing charges for auto theft since it was found in Davidson County.

She told News 2 her family got behind on their bills after having to buy another vehicle thinking they were not going to get the stolen van back. They have set up a GoFundMe account if you would like to help out.