BRAZEN car thieves posted videos of a stolen vehicle on social media - and the owner is now hot on their trail.

Toby Smith was sleeping when the thieves broke into his home in Canwick Grove, Old Heath, Colchester, and stole the keys to his white Lexus IS F.

They then proceeded to steal the £16,000 car, as well as his girlfriend’s handbag.

After some extensive searching Toby, 24, was sent a video from a member of a stolen cars Facebook group.

Thieves had brazenly posted the video which showed his car in Rainham.

It shows the body of the car, the number plate and the interior.

The theft happened overnight on Monday, January 6.

Toby said: “My girlfriend woke up about 5.30am and went downstairs to start getting ready for work.

“She went to where I leave the keys so she could unlock the back door.

“When she couldn’t find them she woke me up to ask me where I’d put them.

“After going downstairs I checked my key spot and was immediately alarmed they weren’t there and bolted upstairs to the side window that overlooks my driveway to see no Lexus.”

The pair realised the front door was slightly ajar and everything fell into place.

He said: “We took an inventory and found they’d stolen all my keys, all my girlfriend’s keys, her handbag as well as its contents and, oddly enough, a pair of her high heels.

“My Lexus had a pair of Ray-Bans inside and my nan’s lawnmower in the boot.”

After calling the police he called everyone he knew, plastering appeals on social media and Lexus forums.

He said: “I had plenty of dead end leads but by about 11pm I’d tracked her to Rainham.

“Armed with that information and the video received from a member of the Stolen Cars - UK Facebook group I informed the police.”

After not having much luck he set about trying to find the location the video was filmed himself.

He said: “By 2am I was standing exactly where my car was in the video but it was nowhere to be found. I figured they may just be out for a joyride and would be bringing it back.

“I found a little hidey hole and set up camp until 8am on Wednesday but unfortunately it didn’t show.”

Toby had only bought the car in November.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called at 6am on Tuesday with reports a car had been stolen from Canwick Grove. Anyone with information is asked to call Colchester CID on 101 quoting crime reference 42/3286/20.” The registration plate is MV58 CJX.