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Police recover stolen car that drove into Hillsborough River

Police say someone stole a Volkswagen Beetle from a home in the 1800 block of Oregon Avenue, near where it was found submerged in the river after what police called a joyride gone awry.
Police say someone stole a Volkswagen Beetle from a home in the 1800 block of Oregon Avenue, near where it was found submerged in the river after what police called a joyride gone awry.
Published Aug. 6, 2013

TAMPA — A stolen Volkswagen Beetle drove into the Hillsborough River near Laurel Street early Monday morning in what officials described as a case of joyriding gone awry.

The car was reported in the water near the west bank of the river around 6:35 a.m., according to Tampa police. Officers arrived and found no one inside.

The engine was cold, and the driver's door was wide open as the car sat propped against a sea wall with its front end below the surface.

A check of the car's license tag revealed that it was stolen from a home in the 1800 block of Oregon Avenue, around the corner from where it went into the water, police said. The thief apparently got in through an open window, officials said. Once inside, the thief found a spare key that the owner kept inside and took off joyriding.

It was a short ride.

A police dive team pulled the car from the water. An investigation is ongoing.