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Low water levels due to drought reveal sunken car in Pineview Reservoir

The automobile was reported stolen in Roy in 2017 and had been in the water for “several years,” officials say.

(Weber County Sheriff's Office) Search and rescue officials fished a MINI Cooper out of Pineview Reservoir Thursday. The car was reported stolen in Roy in 2017.

Hook. Line. Mini Cooper.

The Weber County Sheriff’s Office received an unusual call from Pineview Reservoir visitors Thursday. There was a dark shape visible beneath the water in the western inlet of the lake near 5500 East and SR 39 known as the narrows.

Divers with the Weber Marine Patrol plunged in and found an upside down Mini Cooper submerged at the bottom of the reservoir. After finding that there wasn’t a body inside, they called a tow truck to pull it to shore.

(Weber County Sheriff's Office) Search and rescue officials fished a MINI Cooper out of Pineview Reservoir Thursday. The car was reported stolen in Roy in 2017.

Deputies soon determined that the car had been reported stolen in Roy in 2017.

“We haven’t seen the water this low for several years,” said Lt. Cortney Ryan. Ryan said low water levels caused by Utah’s drought made the car visible in the first place. The car’s paint would have likely exposed its location sooner had it not been dumped with the wheels facing upward, he added.

Ryan explained that the years the car spent underwater destroyed any “real physical evidence” that would identify who stole the car and left it in the lake.

The sheriff’s office notified the Roy Police Department of its retrieval. Officers were able to contact with the Mini’s owner and informed them of the car’s murky fate.

(Weber County Sheriff's Office) Search and rescue officials fished a MINI Cooper out of Pineview Reservoir Thursday. The car was reported stolen in Roy in 2017.

More than 800 residents reacted to the sheriff’s office’s post announcing its discovery on Facebook. They tagged friends and asked if their Mini was missing. One commenter joked, “My bad, I’m much better at parallel parking now.”

Another wondered if the car was the structure he had been “ripping bass from” earlier in the summer. Others wondered if more cars or other treasures are waiting to be discovered in the water.

Thursday’s recovery was not the first time the sheriff’s office has pulled abandoned automobiles from the reservoir. In 2014, crews fished out five cars, including a 1950s Mercury sedan, after testing out new sonar equipment near the dam. Officials discovered a bag with a 10-pound weight and two handguns inside. They estimated the car had been submerged for more than 50 years.

Three of the cars that were discovered in 2014 were reported as stolen.