Stolen Vehicle Dumped in St. Croix River

Photo: A maroon 2007 Honda SUV was reported to be headed into the St. Croix River early Friday morning by a Canadian bystander. Police and rescue personnel quickly responded but no driver could be located. The vehicle was confirmed to be stolen from the Calais fire department parking lot. No suspects have been identified at this time. (Calais Police photo). By Lura Jackson It was in the early hours of Friday, June 16th when a bystander in St. Stephen caught sight of a vehicle on the American side – specifically the Calais boat ramp – headed directly into the water. The vehicle, a 2007 maroon Honda SUV, was apparently stolen from its location in the parking lot of the Calais Fire Department and driven to the river where it soon met its watery fate. The bystander in Canada quickly called the authorities. The Calais Police Department, Calais Fire-EMS department, St. Stephen Fire Department, Baileyville Police Department, and Maine State Police Underwater Recovery Team all responded. “Our officer was on the scene immediately,” said Officer Bill White of the Calais Police Department. It was quickly determined that there were no suspects in the vicinity. As soon as the vehicle was submerged in the water its electrical system shorted out, and the river began to carry it. “That’s the problem with the river, the current can be quite strong,” said Officer White. “When it went in, it was difficult to find it.” While the initial call was received around 1:57 a.m., it wasn’t until 5:45 that the vehicle was located with certainty. By that time, it had drifted 50 yards downstream. Divers from the state police unit immediately secured tethers to the vehicle and began the retrieval process, which concluded at 7:00 a.m. The vehicle is a total loss, reports Officer White. He confirmed that it was owned by an employee of the fire department but said that no suspects were yet known. The investigation is ongoing.