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Press Release: Car Found Submerged in Water in Berkeley's South Aquatic Park On Tuesday Morning

From Sgt. Mary Kusmiss, City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) Public Information Officer
Tuesday June 07, 2011 - 09:23:00 PM

“On Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at about 7:33 a.m. a man had pulled over his car to make a phone call in the south end of South Aquatic Park in the City of Berkeley. He noticed a car that was submerged in the water just north of the roadway. This is the route that many commuters take to enter Highway I-80 eastbound. (referred to as Potter Street)” 

“City of Berkeley Police (BPD) and Fire Department (BFD) personnel responded to the location and discovered that there was a dark colored sedan (later identified as a 1995 dark blue Nissan Maxima) under the water. The teams’ greatest concern was that there may be a person or people inside the car. Members of BPD began an area search on foot for any witnesses, anything of evidentiary value or injured individuals. An officer spoke with a man who had been in his car in the parking area within close proximity to the water. He told the officer that he had been parked there for approximately 45 minutes before 7:30 a.m., and had not noticed the car.” 

“BFD used their tools and expertise to devise a plan to gain access to the car and were able to check the passenger compartments. Those areas were free of any victims. 

(Please call the BFD PIO for specific details on their methods and training) BPD ordered tow trucks whose drivers were able to winch the car from the water. The trunk was pried open immediately and no victim(s) or bodies(s) were found inside.” 

“BPD completed research on the car’s CA. license plate and learned that the Nissan was registered in the City of San Francisco. BPD enlisted the support of the City of San Francisco Police department who sent an officer to the registered owner’s address in the Potrero District of SF. The woman was not aware that her car was missing thus is was an unreported stolen car. The car was towed to a storage lot and was examined by BPD Crime Scene Investigator (CSI).” 

“At the time of this update, BPD has not received any information as to the Nissan being involved in any other crime(s). BPD has not been able to locate any witness who saw the car entering the water or a suspect or suspect parked in the car in that area.” 

“BPD is urging anyone who may know anything about this stolen Nissan and the suspicious circumstances surrounding it to call the BPD Auto Theft Detail at (510) 981-5737 or the 24 hour BPD non emergency number of (510) 981-5900. If a community member wishes to remain anonymous, he/she is encouraged to call the Bay Area Crimes Stoppers (BACS) at (800)-222-TIPS (8477). Any information may be critical to solving this crime. Sometimes the smallest or seemingly insignificant detail can be the key to arresting the suspect or suspects in any crime.”