CROOKS have used the Tweed River as a dumping ground for a ute they stole and took for a joy ride earlier this week.
The banged up stolen Ford was found abandoned at the bottom of the Tweed River, sparking a retrieval mission this morning.
The Queensland registered utility vehicle was dragged out of the depths by Enterprise Collision Centre Towing while SES, Tweed Heads NSW Fire and Rescue and police watched on.
It took just over an hour to haul the car out of the water.
When it did finally hit the surface it was clear the car had been trashed, the passenger window had been completely smashed and the car had scratches and dents all over.
Tweed-Byron Local Area Command Inspector Greg Jago said the car was originally reported stolen on Sunday night about 9.30pm.
"It was reported stolen a short distance away from where it was found," he said.
"Police are conducting inquiries to ascertain how the vehicle was used and who stole it."
SES Tweed Heads rescue officer Reg Sanders said his colleague had stumbled upon the vehicle.
"We launched in at the boat ramp about 7.50 for training," he said.
"Tim looked down and saw the shiny silver ray of the ute.
"He saw it by sheer observation."
The SES contacted police who then contacted NSW Fire and Rescue to help the retrieval.
HAZMAT was also called in to deal with any fuel leakage.
"There was a spill, mainly fuel and oil," HAZMAT co-ordinator George Sutherland said.
"We have laid out some absorbent booms to contain the spill."
Mr Sutherland said the booms would remain in place and monitored by Kingscliff Rural Fire Service for a few days.
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