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Car found in Lake Warner reported stolen from Chicopee

  • Glass in the passenger seat of a vehicle recovered from Lake Warner Friday night. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH ROBERTSON

  • A car recovered from Lake Warner Friday night is prepped for towing. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH ROBERTSON

  • A car recovered from Lake Warner Friday night is prepped for towing. According to Hadley Police, the car was reported stolen from Chicopee, and both cities’ police departments are investigating. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH ROBERTSON



Staff Writer
Friday, November 24, 2017

HADLEY — A vehicle reported stolen in Chicopee was found in Lake Warner Nov. 17, with keys in the ignition and no sign of the operator.

“We are making the assumption that the vehicle was unoccupied at the time it entered the water,” Hadley Police Sgt. Kenneth Hartwright said.

According to Hartwright, the Hadley Police Department received a call about a vehicle partially submerged by the Mount Warner Road bridge around 6:40 p.m. Friday night. Police and fire departments responded to the scene and found the vehicle partially under water near the boat ramp. Ernie’s Towing of Northampton removed the vehicle from the frigid water.

“We thought something was on fire,” said Ekim Otucu, a 20-year-old University of Massachusetts Amherst student, who lives nearby. “Neither us nor any neighbors heard anything. There weren’t even any tracks.”

Otucu lives next door to the Mount Warner Road bridge and said Ernie’s Towing used his driveway to pull the vehicle from the water. The vehicle was approximately 5 feet underwater, with the right rear door exposed, Otucu added.

All doors and windows were closed and intact when the vehicle was recovered, according to Hartwright. The windows were broken during the recovery process.

Hadley and Chicopee police are investigating jointly.

“We still aren’t entirely sure what is going on yet,” Hartwright said.

Sarah Robertson can be reached at srobertson@gazettenet.com