A college student’s car was damaged in an alleged hit and run, and he found the perpetrator’s license near his car.
Caleb Mangruem posted about finding the license plate in the “wreckage” of his car on TikTok on April 3. His video has over 7 million views.
“We got this man’s license plate,” Mangruem says in the TikTok. “Now what?”
Commenters on Mangruem’s video were happy to hear that the license plate fell off the car so that the TikToker could track them down with it.
“Not them thinking they got away,” @zanetakristjawna commented.
“Finna bring it to court like,” @vlqyi wrote.
“The plate knowing justice and serving what it finds right,” @5ckles commented.
Others suggested that Mangruem tell police officers that he saw the plate fall off the car, because they might not believe him that the license plate came from the car that hit him.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “an average of 682,000 hit-and-run crashes occurred each year since 2006.” While national data on how many hit and run cases go unsolved per year seems to be unavailable, reporting on hit and run cases in Illinois, where Mangruem is a student, explain that police investigations for hit and runs take a long time, and that most drivers who hit people and leave the scene in Chicago will “probably” get away with it.
In a follow-up TikTok, Mangruem says that after waiting two hours for police to come to the scene, they ended up taking the license plate from him (even though he wanted to keep it) for evidence of the crime. The TikToker also says that he had to wait a week and a half to get the names and insurances of the people driving the car that hit him.
“I got an insurance settlement, we’re trying to find the car. The car mark is horrible,” Mangruem says in the follow-up TikTok.
In another TikTok posted on April 8, Mangruem drives a car. He captioned the video, “finally got wheels again.”
Commenters were happy to see that he got a new car.
“I love this for you,” @braceface.red7 commented.
“Love it,” @guitarweirdo04 wrote. “Nothing is gonna stop a man with momentum.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Mangruem via Instagram direct message.
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*First Published: Apr 21, 2022, 11:49 am CDT
Tricia Crimmins is the IRL staff writer at the Daily Dot. She is also a New York-based comedian studying at Columbia Journalism School. Previously, she has written for Mashable, Complex Networks, and Moment magazine. She can be found on Twitter at @TriciaCrimmins.