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A carjacked driver trapped in the boot of his Volkswagon sent a text message to his girlfriend who then posted a message on Twitter to raise the alarm.

The Telegraph in London reports that the man sparked an elaborate rescue mission after two armed men carjacked his Volkswagen Golf in north-west Johannesburg at the weekend.

The assailants shoved the terrified driver into the boot of his car before speeding off. But they forgot to confiscate his mobile phone. According to The Telegraph, the man was able to SMS his girlfriend Lynn Peters who posted a desperate message on Twitter along with the car's number plate.

"Be on the look for DSS041GP, my boyfriend has just been hijacked and is in the boot please RT (re-tweet)," she wrote.

There were 10,600 carjackings in South Africa last year, down from a high of 14,900 in 2008, according to police statistics. The message spread quickly after being retweeted by hundreds of South Africans fed up with rampant crime, according to The Telegraph.

"We have co-ords", said one tweet, announcing that the car had been located heading south on the N1 in Free State province.

"We trying to intercept from both ways!" wrote Riga Rescue, a volunteer-run emergency service. "Hang on we doing all we can!"

Police finally stopped the Volkswagen at a roadblock about 250km south of Johannesburg and the carjackers fled on foot. The driver was found shaken but unharmed.