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WEST MIDDLESEX Police find suspicious car in ravine



Published: Thu, September 20, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Whoever left the Camaro there clearly tried to hide it, the police chief said.

WEST MIDDLESEX, Pa. -- Shenango Township police and the FBI would like to talk to the owner of a 1987 Camaro found abandoned in a ravine off Buckwalter Road shortly before 8 a.m. Monday.

Police Chief Ronald Preston said a check of the vehicle's registration showed it was bought Sept. 7 by a resident of Sloatsburg, N.Y., a suburb of New York City. The owner has a name of Middle Eastern origin, but he wasn't with the car nor have authorities been able to contact him, Preston said this morning.

It was obvious that someone tried to hide the car, he said, noting it was found about 300 yards off the road and was nearly invisible in the weeds. Tracks showed someone drove it around in the ravine in an apparent attempt to find the highest weeds, he said, adding that it was there one or two hours before it was found.

Everything but the car was covered with dew, Preston said. The keys were in the ignition.

Preston called FBI, which sent an agent from Pittsburgh to check the scene.

No clues: There is nothing at this point to link the car to any terrorist activity, but Preston said he can't think of any good reason for the car to be where it was found.

The car wasn't searched by township police or the FBI because there was no probable cause of a crime's being committed, Preston said. The vehicle has been impounded, however.

The FBI agent did pick up some items found on the ground outside the car, Preston said, declining to identify them. Nor would he release the name of the car's owner.

The car had 900 new miles on it and 400 of those were added in the drive here from New York, the chief said. The FBI said it would send someone to the owner's address in an attempt to locate him, the chief added.




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