Car in pond was wanted

Published 10:55 pm Friday, January 8, 2010

A vehicle that was found partially submerged on Thursday in an International Paper holding pond had been reported stolen on Oct. 12, but it also had an outstanding repossession order, according to police in Ahoskie, N.C.

Officials with Fast Loan Finance Co. were unable to locate the car in October, following their issuance of a repossession order, Ahoskie Police Lt. Detective Jeremy Roberts said on Friday.

Police learned of that order when they contacted Fast Loan, a lien holder on the vehicle, after receiving a report on Oct. 12 from Ethelene Boone of Ahoskie that the car had been stolen, Roberts said.

“She said she had driven the vehicle to Suffolk on Oct. 11, returning to Ahoskie at 11 p.m. that night,” Roberts said. “She said the last time she saw the car it was parked in her driveway at that time and date. When she went out the next morning (Oct. 12), the car was gone.”

Roberts stated that his initial involvement in the investigation was with Fast Loan Finance.

“One of the first things we do when a vehicle is reported stolen is to check with the lien holder of the vehicle to make sure that it has not been repossessed,” Roberts said. “In this particular case we learned that the lien holder had issued a repossession order, but was unable to locate the car.”

The search ended Thursday when the car was found partially submerged in the pond, located on Camp Pond Road in southwest Suffolk.

According to Desmond Stills, IP’s public information officer, the vehicle was found by an IP environmental engineer doing his rounds at the paper mill’s main holding pond.

The 1,460-acre pond is used to hold the water left over from the mill’s processes, Stills said. The water is treated before it is sent to the pond, where it then sits until the pond is drained once a year. The pond has a seven-mile circumference and its level rises throughout the year until the time arrives to drain it.

It was this year’s drainage that exposed the vehicle, Stills said.

(Cal Bryant, editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald, contributed to this story.)