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The fun thing about fishing is the unexpected. What lurks in the water’s depths that you might discover at the end of your fishing line? Everyone wants to snag a whopper, and a man in Kansas sure got on. It ended up being a stolen Jeep from 1990. 

How did the fisherman find the stolen Jeep?

This happened at Cheney Reservoir in Wichita, Kansas, over Memorial Weekend last month. John Mounce, a crappie angler, was using his state-of-the-art sonar underwater gear called LiveScope, to find the perfect place to plunk his line down into. “As soon as I put my LiveScope on it, I knew immediately it was a vehicle,” Mounce told Wichita’s TV-4. “I could see the bar, I could see the steering wheel, the shifter, the whole nine yards.”

Being a true angler, he first went about catching all of the crappies sitting on top of the Jeep’s hood. Once he filled his quota, he loaded up his boat and called the local police department about his discovery. Because he used the LoveScope, he had images of his underwater Jeep findings. 

Did the police determine who the stolen Jeep belonged to?

Stolen Jeep rear view
Stolen Jeep in storage facility | KWCH 12

The police viewed his images, “and they knew immediately it was a vehicle.” He had the GPS coordinates, which he also supplied to the police. The Jeep was sitting in around 16 feet of water. Unfortunately, the water was too opaque for any visibility. With that, the police asked Mounce to return with them to help them track down the sunken Jeep. 

“It was pretty cool, he said.” On my LiveScope, I got to watch them hook the chain up to the Jeep.” The video shows the Jeep on a winch going up the dam walls. It turns out the Jeep was part of a car theft from the Witchita area in 1990. Currently, there is no information from the police of who owned the Jeep and how it ended up in the drink. 

Should all police departments have sonar scopes?

This raises the question if police and fire rescue personnel would benefit from having the LiveScope. Such a device is clearly something the Wichita local authorities would’ve benefitted from using. We just find it interesting that throwing these into the water can result in finding a stolen Jeep.

Referring to what the fire and rescue officials used for this exercise, he says, “Their stuff works, but it’s not going to give you the detail the newer stuff does.”


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