Photo: FooTToo (iStock)

The promise of free beer might be a more effective way to locate a stolen vehicle than even a GPS tracker. Unknown Brewing Company in Charlotte, North Carolina, recovered its purloined van on Monday within just 42 minutes of posting about it on social media.

The brewery’s callout offered a free beer keg to anyone with information about the van: “Who ever finds it, Brad will buy you a keg party! If you stole it and bring it back, you will also get a keg party.” Pretty generous, honestly.

A woman spotted the van parked down her street, and the brewery was able to recover it in less than 45 minutes. As stories of the van recovery spread, some skeptics began to wonder if it wasn’t a marketing ploy Unknown cooked up itself. Today, the brewery wants to assure the public the entire saga was 100% real:

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Unknown says it plans to brew a beer called Van Theft Auto and sell pints of it for 25 cents at the taproom as a thank you for the public’s help in finding the vehicle. There is an unfortunate side to this otherwise sweet story: Police believe the brewery van might have been used in conjunction with a string of more than 10 vehicle break-ins. Unknown has just one word of caution for would-be van thieves:

“A lot of tips came in from fans of the brewery who lived in the area and saw the obvious neon van, proving it was probably not a good idea to steal a brightly colored, well-known brewery vehicle.”

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