Family of disabled child gets van back after it was stolen
DENVER –A Jefferson County family with a disabled child who had their specially equipped van stolen earlier last week now has it back.
Victoria Benade lives in Lockwood—a small town in Jefferson County—and woke up to find her mini van stolen on Monday.
“This is the van outfitted for my daughter Emily, who has Down Syndrome,” said Benade. “I use it for her medical appointments and for her brothers to get to school as well.”
“It’s beyond daunting,” Benade told FOX31 Denver last week. “I’m so overwhelmed.”
Benade said she could have lost custody of Emily because without the van she would be unable to take Emily to doctors appointments and school.
When FOX31 Denver aired a story about Benade, many people called the station wanting to help.
The van, which is more than 20 years old, showed up in a Denver impound lot Monday.
After navigating some logistical loops, Benade said she was able to recover the van, but said it has been seriously vandalized.
“I was so happy to find my van, but when I saw it I couldn’t’ believe how badly they had trashed it out,” said the mom of three. “This is a van I kept very clean for my kids and now look at it, peanut shells, whiskey bottles and lots of crap that wasn’t even ours.”
The family said they have set up a fund at First Bank for anyone who wants to help the family get the van running again.