California Cops Seize Jeep Wrangler Found Stuck, Abandoned in Protected Wilderness Area

See what happens when you drive where you’re not supposed to?

EDSO

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office (EDSO) is looking for the owner of a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited that was found abandoned in a protected creekbed that is part of an environmental restoration area.

El Dorado County is located in northern California, about an hour and a half east of Sacramento. Trout Creek, where the Jeep was found, and the surrounding area were part of a federally funded restoration effort in the early 2000s to help clean up damages done by roads, logging, and other man-made structures. Students from the nearby Lake Tahoe Community College frequently use the waterway as a research and study area, so driving in the creek is understandably prohibited. 

That the Wrangler was left stranded in the creek with a clearly visible business logo printed on the door is a clear indication that the owner was either too embarrassed to stick around or the Jeep was stolen for a joyride. Even though the license plate appears to have been removed, law enforcement could likely track the owner with the Jeep’s VIN. Instead, they decided to pursue the effective and time-honored tradition of public shame to get their point across.

Perhaps the best part of all of this, at least for those of us observing from afar, are the comments on the sheriff’s office’s Facebook post. Several people take to their keyboards to proclaim that a Toyota Tacoma wouldn’t have gotten stuck, while others focus on the fact that the Jeep ended up left in an area that has no nearby trails or roads for vehicles of any kind. 

The sheriff's office is generally kind to off-roaders, taking the time to educate them on best practices and safety. Either way, the sheriff’s office would like a word with the vehicle’s owner, saying, “Deputy Lee would like to speak to you about why you were driving where you should not have been.” 

The EDSO hired a tow truck to remove the Jeep and take it to an impound lot until further notice.