Stolen vehicle dumped in pond

By: Charity Meier | Novi Note | Published January 12, 2023

File photo


NOVI — An off-duty Border Patrol agent noticed that a car was submerged in the pond near Manhattan Circle, near Beck Road and Grand River Avenue, as he was heading to work at 5:22 a.m. New Year’s Day and contacted police.

Novi police officers and firefighters found a 2014 Dodge Charger with a Michigan license plate approximately 45 feet into the pond. The Border Patrol agent told police that the car had not been there when he took his dog for a walk at 4:30 a.m. The vehicle was towed out of the pond, and police were able to examine the vehicle. According to the police report, all the windows of the vehicle were observed to be intact. The driver’s side window was completely rolled down, and the passenger window was observed to be rolled down approximately 8 to 10 inches.

The rear bumper appeared to be damaged. The car was submerged in approximately 3 feet of water, which flooded the vehicle’s interior. The front end of the vehicle had minor damage to the front fender. The interior of the vehicle appeared to contain miscellaneous clothing items and miscellaneous paperwork. Approximately 4-6 inches of standing water was observed on the driver’s side floorboard and the passenger’s side floorboard after it had been pulled out of the pond, according to the report.

Police were able to look up the vehicle’s license plate. They then made phone contact with the owner and advised her about her vehicle. She said she had no idea how the vehicle got there.

Police went to the owner’s home and met with her and her boyfriend, who stated that the vehicle had been parked adjacent to the front door of her residence. Officers checked the area where the car was originally parked. There was no broken glass around the area, according to the report. The owner said she had not been using the vehicle since Dec. 23 because it does not drive well in the snow. The couple said they had gone out for the New Year’s holiday at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31 in separate vehicles, she in a Mercedes-Benz and he in a GMC Denali, and had not returned home until 3:13 p.m. on New Year’s Day. The couple was able to verify this with video surveillance footage from her Ring doorbell camera.

In the footage, the couple appeared to be dry and walking OK, the report said. It also confirmed that the vehicle had been parked near her home at 3 a.m. New Year’s Day and disappeared from the camera footage just before 5 a.m., but the footage did not show anyone tampering with the vehicle.   

The woman told police she would like to report the vehicle as stolen and said she would like to pursue criminal charges if a suspect is found. She said the only thing valuable in her car was her son’s football equipment. She stated that she only had one key for the vehicle, and the key was accounted for. She further advised officers that no one else had permission to drive the vehicle.

Police impounded the vehicle as evidence. The owner asked if she could retrieve any of her belongings from the vehicle. She was advised that the vehicle was being held for investigative purposes at this time and she would be unable to access it.   

Police requested that the couple come to the station so that they could do formal interviews. According to the report, both parties’ stories matched up.

Police have no suspects, according to the report, and the vehicle has been released to the owner.