Car pulled from Bridgewater river had been stolen 20 years ago

Maureen Boyle

John Beals first spotted something in the waters off Plymouth Street several years ago while canoeing along the Town River with his children.

He finally learned what it was Wednesday, when the Fire Department — using a borrowed crane — pulled up a 1984 Toyota Celica reported stolen in Taunton 20 years ago.

Beals and his children, Zack, 11, and Allie, 9, watched as Bridgewater Fire Department divers examined the area around the car and as the rusted vehicle was pulled from the water.

Beals said they had noticed an object under the water years back during one of their canoeing outings.

“We couldn't tell what it was,” he said.

Then, last week, with the water levels lower, they could make out the outline of what appeared to be a car.

Beals first called the state Department of Environmental Protection this week to report the find then was referred to the Police and Fire departments.

Deputy Fire Chief Thomas D. Levy said the Fire Department was called late Tuesday, and a preliminary look of the area was made. Divers returned Wednesday morning, along with a crane donated by City Crane of Avon, to examine the vehicle better.

Firefighters George Hogg and Tom Luckman, members of the dive team, dove into the water as Firefighter Glenn Grafton and Lt. Eric Elder, fellow team members, assisted in the effort.

“It was very murky,” Hogg said.

The firefighters broke open the car window, to see what was inside the vehicle.

“There was a little bit of gasoline that came out,” Hogg said.

The car was under about 7 feet of water, he said.

Maureen Boyle of The Enterprise (Brockton, Mass.) can be reached at mboyle@enterprisenews.com.