A police community support officer flagged down a gritter lorry to help successfully track down a missing boy.
The quick thinking officer asked the lorry driver if he'd seen the boy, who had run away from his parents in Tiverton, Devon.
When the driver said he had seen someone matching the description, PCSO Paul Goodier jumped aboard.
They tracked the boy down close to where the driver had last seen him.
A spokesman for Tiverton Police said: "In a moment of inspiration, Goodier had a 'follow that car moment'.
"Taking a round-about route to responsibly ensure no area of road was 'double gritted', they went to the area of last sighting.
"The boy's shocked face as our officer of the week climbed down from the cab was apparently a picture, he didn't even think to run off."
The spokesman continued: "He hijacked a gritter."
"I am not sure if he got the driver to raise his right hand and swore him in as his deputy, but this was partnership working, deputising and searching all delicately rolled into one."