Stolen work van found, gear still missing

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DENVER — There has been a bizarre twist in a FOX31 Denver Problem Solvers investigation involving a local mechanic who was out nearly $50,000 after thieves stole his business and drove away with it.

On Sunday, the man’s auto repair van might have been stolen to transport drugs into Colorado’s high country. It was apparently reported seen in Frisco.

“[The Frisco Police Department] highly doubt the tools were taken down there. The tools were dumped here in Denver and drugs were taken up there,” said Keith Thums, whose wife spoke with police on Sunday.

Thums’ work van, which he uses to repair refrigeration trucks, was stolen May 21. Thums’ friend was given the keys to the vehicle to access it, but accidentally left it unlocked and left the keys in plain sight.

Thums wasn’t thrilled.

“This is what brings in money,” he said, pointing to his van. “On the weekends I go out and do service calls."

Some viewers spotted the truck. Initially, it was seen in Frisco, but then it was dumped near 51st and 52nd avenues near Chambers Road.

“It was dumped behind the Wal-Mart,” Thums said.

The thieves did steal some of the van’s parts such as the airbags, which go for $400 apiece. It’s unclear if the equipment inside it was sold or just dumped. Either way, it’s worth about $45,000, according to Thums.

On Sunday, Thums’ wife posted missing gear fliers around Frisco. At this point, Thums is hoping the rest of his gear will turn up.

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