Stolen van from disabled woman in Aurora found

Aurora Police returned the woman's van.

AURORA - A stolen specialized van made for a woman with severe disabilities was found Monday, according to the Aurora Police Department.

The van was found near South Sable Boulevard and East Jewell Avenue.

There is currently no suspect in custody. Officer Ken Forrest of the Aurora Police Department said officers will check inside the vehicle for any clues as to who may have stolen the van. 

The vehicle was stolen overnight on Friday, August 11. 

Its owner told police someone took the conversion van which was parked in the disabled parking spot directly in front of their home. 

"And I just opened that front door to get some air in here and looked out and there was not a big brown van in our big brown van spot," Carrie Ricard, the sister of the victim, said. 

Carrie Ricard loves to take her sister Bobbi Jo on road trips in the specialized van made just for her.

"It's just heartbreaking because that van is a huge part of her quality of life," Ricard said. "Her number one thing she likes to do is be in the community and go for rides and go on trips and without that van, we're stuck."

Bobbi Jo suffers from disabilities so severe she has to remain in a lying down positions at all times. Her wheelchair is different the others. Bobbi Jo lays across the top stretching over the front and back wheels. It's three times as long as a normal wheelchair.

Ricard says Bobbi Jo can't call an Uber or ride on a bus.

Even if it recovered, Ricard worried it will be damaged and rendered useless. Police have not yet released in what condition or where the van was found.

She says it costs around $50,000 to buy another van like theirs. She says insurance will only cover the value of just the old van for about $2,000.

Ricard said it will cost them about $19,000 to have their mini-van converted to accommodate Bobbi Jo in a tight squeeze.

"I cannot in my heart have her be stuck in this house and not be able to do what she wants to do. I can't do it," Ricard said. It's just not fair. She's just had so much challenge in her life. That's the one thing that makes her happy."

The condition of the recovered van is currently unknown. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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