GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – A vehicle submerged in a canal was reported a quarter of a mile east of Road 28 in Grand Junction on Friday morning.
The Grand Valley Irrigation crew initially noticed that some things were not quite right in the area, then received a call at 8:35 a.m. Friday.
The Grand Junction Fire Department quickly showed up and determined that a vehicle was in fact submerged in water. But it was unknown whether there was anyone inside.
“I got a call this morning from our trench rider who was taking his morning readings on the canal,” said operations manager for Grand Valley Water Users’ Association, Kevin Conrad. “I saw that the footbridge they used was out of place and we weren’t sure what had happened.”
Initially, he thought it was vandalism, until he looked a little deeper. Upon further investigation, he found unusual waves in the water along the tire track leading to the canal. So he called the police.
Grand Junction Police Officer Martin J Donohue said, “The vehicle drove into the confluence, pulled a foot bridge over the confluence, bent a pipe, and then submerged about 300 feet west of the confluence.”
Mesa County Search and Rescue, the Grand Junction Fire Department, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Grand Junction Police Department all jointly investigated and confirmed that there was no body in the vehicle.
After driving the plate, it was determined that the vehicle had been stolen and possibly intentionally driven into the canal.
“The team did really well,” said Eli Wilson of Mesa County Swiftwater Search and Rescue. “We’re not sure if there was a motive but the car was stolen. It turns out there was no body in the car which is amazing. I don’t know about the motive but there have been a lot of car thefts in Mesa County.
Right now, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and the Grand Junction Police Department are investigating the motive and searching for the suspect.
According to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, more than 20 car thefts a month have been reported in the county. Also this is not the first report of vehicles in the Grand Junction canals.
“This one in particular was really deep and difficult,” Wilson said.
The Grand Junction Police Department urges residents to stay off canal roads as it is private property. Police say the canals are not for entertainment. They are strictly for running water.
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