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WINFIELD — On Aug. 14, police pulled a pickup truck covered with moss and mud with out-of-state, expired license plates out of Doubletree Lake.

They were perplexed how it got there. 

Town Marshal Dan Ball said the VIN and out-of-state plate were not on file, "so the owner of the truck became a mystery."

Ball said the 2006 Dodge Ram was completely intact and the keys were in the ignition. 

"A Carfax check on the truck indicated that it had, at one time, been reported stolen or recovered in Indiana in early 2007," Ball said. 

Ball was unable to find any information on the truck in Lake County so he contacted the Auto Theft Division of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for assistance where a detective there was able to ascertain that it had been reported stolen in Porter County in January 2007 and never recovered.

"The truck still had the same plate on it from when it was stolen," Ball said. "It is unclear how long the truck had been in the lake but it is possible that it has been there for 10 years. Since the insurance company paid the owner his claim, the truck’s future fell upon the insurance company who will likely scrap the truck due to it’s condition."

Ball has a theory on how the truck ended up about 50 feet off shore.

"Since it was stolen during the winter, I theorize that the thief drove it out onto the frozen lake where it broke through the ice and met it's demise," he said. "We are just glad to have it removed from the lake now."

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Lake County reporter

Rob covers urban affairs and other matters in Crown Point, St. John, Winfield and beyond. Previously he covered Valparaiso, Hammond, Gary and East Chicago. He's also written for various magazines and pens a culture blog for The Times.