Sheriff’s divers recover 13 stolen vehicles from California aqueduct

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Sheriff’s assistants removed 15 cars from the California aqueduct last week, nearly all of which were reported stolen.

Members of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department dive team and the San Bernardino County Auto Theft Task Force, or SANCATT, conducted the operation on Friday.

The vehicles were fished “from the bottom 14 miles” of the 444-mile-long aqueduct near Highway 395, sheriff officials said.

Thirteen vehicles have been confirmed stolen, one was in the water following an accident and another was “stripped and has not yet been identified,” authorities said.

Removing vehicles from the aqueduct appears to be an annual exercise for the department, according to previous Daily Press reports.

In April 2018, sheriff’s divers recovered four vehicles including one belonging to a 21-year-old student who fell asleep and crashed into the water two months earlier.

The man was able to get out of the car, grab onto a buoy and get to safety.

Authorities removed 30 stolen vehicles in 2011, the largest number ever recovered at the time.

SANCATT is a county-wide task force made up of several agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, the DMV, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Daily Press reporter Martin Estacio can be contacted at 760-955-5358 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DP_mestacio.

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