Stolen Van With Special Wheelchair Lift Found, Owners ‘Elated’

By Jeff Todd

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A van vital for a transportation of a young disabled Aurora woman was recovered in relatively good working order.

“We woke up with a big part of our life missing on Saturday and we’re just really touched by all the community support on Saturday and Sunday,” Carrie Ricard said. “And then of course this morning we were just elated! Over-the-top excited we were getting our van back.”

van 2 Stolen Van With Special Wheelchair Lift Found, Owners Elated

(credit: CBS)

The 1997 GMC van has a $15,000 wheelchair lift in the back of the van that helps transport Bobbi Jo Dunbar.

“I tested out the lift. That was the first thing I did when I got home just because that’s the most important part of our old brown van here, is to make sure that lift works,” Ricard said.

van 1 Stolen Van With Special Wheelchair Lift Found, Owners Elated

(credit: CBS)

When Aurora police called to say they found the van, a cousin went and picked it up. It might have some slight engine damage and the inside of the van had been treated more like a trash can. There is not a suspect for the theft.

“As long as it’s something fixable, we’re happy,” Ricard said. “I am just blessed to have it back. As long as it stays where it’s parked we are good.”

van 3 Stolen Van With Special Wheelchair Lift Found, Owners Elated

(credit: CBS)

Ricard started a GoFundMe page and the money will likely go to fixing the van. Bobbi Jo says she wants her first adventure back in the van to be a shopping trip to the mall.

LINK: gofundme.com/replace-bobbi-jos-wheelchair-van

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

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