Lake Arlington Debris: Junk or Police Evidence?

Police use sonar technology to ID submerged items

By Mola Lenghi
|  Wednesday, May 23, 2012  |  Updated 6:50 PM CDT
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Arlington police spent time on Lake Arlington Wednesday clearing debris from the water, officers say they never know when something recovered from the lake might help with a criminal investigations.

Mola Lenghi, NBC 5 Arlington Reporter

Arlington police spent time on Lake Arlington Wednesday clearing debris from the water, officers say they never know when something recovered from the lake might help with a criminal investigations.

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Ever wonder what's at the bottom of Lake Arlington?

Arlington police constantly use sonar image-detecting technology to monitor lake debris that could prove critical to an investigation.

"We're just now catching up because of the technology, and we have the new sonar, so we're finding things in the lake that have been in there 10 to 20 years and we're just now getting them out of the lake," Officer Chris Stinson said.

Police mostly look for submerged watercraft as well as vehicles.

"There's lots of interesting things we see on the sonar -- like the old bridges that used to cross the lake and there's foundations to some old houses," Stinson said.

On Wednesday, police and the fire department's dive team went in to bring out a submerged car.

"It turned out to be a very rusted old car that was probably in the lake 20 or 30 years," Stinson said. "We just got some of the front end and small pieces of the car. There were no VIN numbers or identifying pieces of the car."

If a vehicle information number or license plate is identifiable, police then check to see if the vehicle was ever reported stolen or if it is linked to any outstanding offenses or warrants.

But water can get messy, Stinson said.

"The obvious problem is that it has been wet and it has been muddy," he said.

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