Small business owners locate stolen VW photo booth with help from Problem Solvers

DENVER — The couple searching frantically for their unique VW bus were able to rest easy Sunday night after a Problem Solvers report alerted the public.

A FOX31 viewer who saw the report realized they had spotted the bus and quickly contacted the Problem Solvers, who were able to reunite the owners with their beloved bus.

Original story below:

A Louisville couple said their vintage VW bus they converted into a photo booth was stolen Saturday night, and now they are desperate to get this critical piece to their traveling photo booth business back.

Travis and Laura Ramos said their VW bus, nicknamed ‘Kiwi,’ was on its way to a wedding. An employee had stopped to fill Kiwi up with gas near 62nd and Federal Boulevard. Travis Ramos said when the employee went in the store to wash his hands, surveillance video from the gas station shows a man driving off with the VW bus.

“I restored her from the ground up, I did everything to her. It’s the work of my hands. It’s my own blood, sweat and tears that went into the bus and to have it taken, it’s like it’s gone and it’s like, ‘what do you do?'” said Travis Ramos.

A phone app had been running on the employee’s phone that allowed them to trace Kiwi to an alley in Baker, about 30 minutes south of where Kiwi had been stolen. Travis Ramos arrived with a police officer. He found a sign from the van as well as Kiwi’s signature oil drip stain, but no Kiwi. Travis Ramos said the thieves turned off the phone, so they could no longer track Kiwi’s location.

“We want our bus back, we want our bus back so bad. Kiwi is part of our extended little family,” said Travis Ramos.

“It’s just so bizarre. It’s such a strange thing, it feels like you’re being taking advantage of, it feels violating,” said Laura Ramos.

Kiwi is booked for events throughout the summer and fall. These small business owners said it’ll not only have a big impact on them, it’ll also have a big impact on their customers.

“The ShutterBus is how we pay our bills. It’s our livelihood, its what we do,” said Travis Ramos.

While Kiwi is covered by insurance, Laura Ramos said finding another vintage VW bus and restoring it takes time; time they don’t have as customers continue to book the bus for events.

“If we don’t find Kiwi, we are going to replace here. But obviously that is going to be a lot of work to build another bus so it’s going to be a big impact,” said Laura Ramos.

Anyone who sees the vintage VW bus is asked to call law enforcement.

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