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Paddler finds stolen car in Guadalupe River

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
March 6, 2011 at 7:01 p.m.
Updated March 5, 2011 at 9:06 p.m.

Officers are on the scene as a car is removed from the river in Riverside park late Sunday afternoon.

Victoria police recovered a vehicle Sunday from the Guadalupe River at Riverside Park that appeared to have been purposely driven into the water.

No one was in the vehicle or injured at the scene.

The owners of the gold 1999 Oldsmobile 88, April and Michael Ayala, reported the vehicle stolen Saturday morning, after discovering the car was missing from their Victoria home about 2 a.m.

"We looked all over for it yesterday and couldn't find it," April Ayala said. "We don't know who would want to steal our car."

A kayaker paddling past the partially submerged vehicle Sunday reported the car to the Victoria Sheriff's Office at 3:30 p.m. Victoria Police responded to the emergency moments after the call came in. The car appeared to have been intentionally driven into the river from behind Riverside Golf course on McCright Drive by using a broken wooden post to hold the gas pedal down.

"I just want to know who did this," April Ayala said, watching police and a tow truck pull her vehicle from the river behind Riverside Golf Course on the north side of the park.

As groups of curious onlookers lined the yellow crime scene tape roping off the recovery area, B & S Wrecker Service of Victoria lifted the vehicle over a 30-feet cliff.

Officer Marty Epting said he suspected the car thieves were not professional, as nothing was missing or stolen from the car.

"It looks like it was kids," Epting said.

The Ayalas said they have liability insurance on the Oldsmobile and plan to replace the car.



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