An SUV stolen from a Good Samaritan who stopped to help a disabled car earlier this week was found abandoned in the Little Arkansas River on Friday, a police official said.
Around 3:30 p.m. someone called 911 after seeing the SUV — a 2002 white Jeep Grand Cherokee with an Oklahoma tag — with its nose submerged in a few feet of water, near 16th and Arkansas, authorities said.
A fleet of emergency crews responded and found the Jeep in the river, several hundred feet from the road. Firefighters broke its back window to see if anyone was inside; it was empty.
There were no tire tracks in the snow.
“It’s been there for a while,” said Wichita police Lt. Doug Nolte, who confirmed Friday that the vehicle is the same one stolen around 11:40 p.m. Wednesday near 23rd Street North and Arkansas.
Its owner, a 27-year-old Wichita man, had stopped that night to help two women who appeared to be stuck in a car.
One stole the Jeep, striking the man and knocking him down when she drove away.
The other left in a black Chevrolet Monte Carlo with a Dallas Cowboys vanity tag on the front.
As of Friday, police had not located either woman, Nolte said.
One is described as white, about 5-feet-9 with shoulder-length blond hair; she was wearing a black and orange jacket and white shoes with orange laces when the SUV was stolen, Nolte said.
The other woman is white and was wearing glasses, he said.
Nolte said the theft is the only one he’s aware of this year that involves a Good Samaritan.
“Let’s hope that stays that way,” Nolte said.