SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – A San Francisco woman helped track down someone else’s stolen vehicle all through a couple of parking tickets.

Katie Lyons says her license plate was stolen earlier this month and realized something fishy was going on when she started racking up parking tickets at locations her car had never been.

After following the trail of parking violations, she found her stolen plate and someone else’s stolen vehicle.

Parking tickets attached to an Audi recently became clues in a stolen vehicle case.

“I noticed that my license plate on the front was gone. I reported it to police, filed a police report and then maybe a week later I noticed I was getting, I got a real parking ticket physically on my car and I went to go pay it and I noticed that I had four parking tickets from Nob Hill in the last week,” Lyons said. 

Lyons who lives in the Marina District says her license plate on an almost identical white Audi was stolen a couple of weeks ago, however, she recently became flooded with parking tickets at locations in the city’s Nob Hill neighborhood, an area she hadn’t parked or left her car.

“Was just driving down California and saw a white Audi with my plate on it, same car,” Lyons said. “Immediately figured it was probably a stolen car but I didn’t know so I pulled over and looked at the car. The front and back plate were two different plates.”

Lyons says the VIN number on this Audi was also scratched out confirming her suspicions. 

She says she called the police and when they showed up they realized this Audi was reported stolen back in November. 

We got ahold of the owner on Wednesday, who says he was surfing at Ocean Beach when it was stolen a couple of months ago.

“The thing that surprised me is how brazen it is. This car was stolen from Ocean Beach. My plate was stolen from the Marina and put on the stolen car and parked in Nob Hill,” Lyons said.

Lyons says she’s heard of organized theft rings stealing cars in the city but wasn’t aware plates were also being taken from separate cars. 

She’s since installed an added layer of protection on her new license plate and encourages anyone who becomes a victim to report the plate stolen. 

So far, she says no update on any suspects from police.

“I think as the residents here we need to start speaking up about what’s going on,” Lyons said.