Stolen SUV ends up all wet

Rescue workers and emergency crews were on hand in Ocean View on Monday morning as an SUV possibly stolen in a Maryland carjacking and robbery was recovered after being dumped into the Assawoman Bay.

Dive teams, rescue squad and emergency personnel from the Millville and Selbyville volunteer fire companies, Ocean City (Md.) Fire Department and U.S. Coast Guard combed the waters before a black 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer was pulled from the bay. Authorities said a 911 call had been made earlier that morning after the caller had noticed the top of the SUV’s windshield and roof above the water’s surface. Officials said the caller had not been identified.

“After the 911 call was made, we received a call at our station at 8:16 a.m.,” reported Millville Volunteer Fire Company Public Information Officer Bob Powell. The Millville Department was the first on the scene. “We had three dive teams here, and we had the vehicle and surrounding area checked for a body.

“We’re not expecting to recover a victim,” he noted. “This is more of a recovery mode than a rescue mission. It’s just standard procedure.”

The search for possible victims was confined to the cove where the vehicle entered the water, with the U.S. Coast Guard blocking off recreational traffic during the search. No victims were found.

No license plates or vehicle registration were recovered from the SUV. The front windows of the vehicle had been rolled down – possibly in attempt to submerge the automobile quicker, officials noted.

Selbyville VFC divers Jamey Latchum and David Hudson fastened the cable that towed the vehicle ashore.

According to Powell, the MVFC typically responds to “six or so” dive calls and water rescues a year. The Selbyville company has already responded to four this year.

“This isn’t quite the scene we’re accustomed to,” said Selbyville Fire Chief Bob Eckman. “The incidents we deal with are primarily accidental – people falling out of boats, things of that nature. This was obviously intentional.”

The Coastal Point contacted the Prince George’s County Police Department about the submerged vehicle early this week, but no additional information about the Maryland carjacking was available, pending further investigation.

“It’s hard to understand all the details right now,” noted Delaware State Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Joshua A. Bushweller. “In a carjacking, a suspect is committing a robbery, too. We can’t tell at this point if the robbery mentioned by the Prince George’s police was the same incident as the carjacking or if the car was stolen, then used to commit another robbery somewhere else.”