(FOX40.COM) — The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office (SJCSO), with help from other agencies, is recovering several vehicles from the California Delta. Some of which are prompting new investigations.
Some cars are suspected to be stolen and dumped, and others may have been driven in accidentally.
John Canepa, a member of the sheriff’s office’s boating safety team, said that the area of 8 Mile Road in Stockton is a “hot area” for dumping cars into the water.
Officers say that pulling submerged cars from the Delta is a process that takes time, energy, and resources.
People who work in the area say they’ve witnessed some of these cars go into the water.
Boat owner Chris Willson said, “Over the past 11 years, I’ve seen probably six go in and I’ve seen the emergency recoveries and things like that.”
The SJCSO says cars can end up here for a lot of different reasons.
“We may find closure for a loved one. Maybe it’s a missing person vehicle, maybe it’s a stolen vehicle, or it could just be an accident where the person was able to get out okay and just never reported the incident,” Canepa said.
Canepa says other times, like in the case of Jacob Van Zant, they recover more than cars.
Van Zant went missing after he was last seen at a restaurant in downtown Lodi on February 17.
“So for Mr. Van Zant, he was missing for a while and found out here. Along with assistance, we were able to bring closure to the family.”
For the San Joaquin County Boating Safety Deputies, they said the time spent on the water is more than worth it when they can help out the community.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office plans to continue to pull vehicles from the Delta as they’re found and asks the public if they see something in the waterways to report it.