ST. PETERSBURG — Officials pulled a stolen car from Lake Maggiore on Tuesday morning after a St. Petersburg park foreman discovered it underwater during morning patrols.
Pinellas County Fire Rescue divers checked for any bodies and put a strap around the car to free it from the water, said Lt. Joel Granata of St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue. The car, a 2008 Volkswagen GTI Turbo, was stuck in muck and the windows were down.
Howard Saytor, a Boyd Hill Nature Preserve foreman, said he saw the submerged car around 7:45 a.m. It was about 20 feet from the concrete boat ramp's edge and 3 feet below the surface. Part of Saytor's job is to scan for anomalies in the parks he oversees.
The car's owner, Shawn Welch, said he stepped outside his Citrus Park home Tuesday morning and found pieces of glass and window tint where his car sat the night before. Welch said he reported his missing vehicle around 9 a.m.
He has not seen his car since its new water treatment, but he's been told he won't be driving it again. Police told him a brick was found on the gas pedal.