The Subaru Impreza was found by police being hand washed by the alleged offender shortly after it was reported missing about 7.45pm at Aberfoyle Park.
The owner wasn't at home at the time of the theft but received a notification on his phone from the tracking device fitted in his car, saying that it had been moved.
The victim was able to provide live updates to police as he tracked his car through Morphett Vale.
CCTV captured the moment the alleged offender pulled into a 24-hour car wash in a blue Holden Commodore with the allegedly stolen car being towed.
The alleged offender was washing the white Subaru when he was confronted by police.
With car thefts rising across the city, Royal Automobile Association's Mark Borlace has warned motorists to stay vigilant despite increased built-in security.
"These incidents just remind us that car thieving is probably not going to go away. We just have to keep up our smarts with the villains," he said.
During a search of the Holden, police allegedly found $2000 and a trafficable amount of methamphetamine.
The 41-year-old man was arrested and has been charged with illegal use of motor vehicle and traffic in controlled drug.
He was refused bail.
The Subaru has been returned to its owner while police seized the car trailer and believe it may be stolen.
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