SUV with custom upholstery for autism awareness reportedly stolen in Aurora

AURORA, Colo. – Keep your eyes peeled for a stolen vehicle with a one-of-a-kind interior with priceless sentimental value.

The vehicle is a green 1995 Jeep Cherokee with Colorado license plates OYY-570.

“It was a piece of junk when I got it,” owner Josh Gunter told FOX31.

He spent weeks fixing it up just to get it running. He has since rebuilt several components of the vehicle and installed upgrades to the exterior. Gunter even lost a chunk of his nose in an accident while doing some body work.

“It’s like a forever memory when I look in the mirror,” he said.

The interior is really where the vehicle shines.

“I did the headliner and the sun visors and all the door panels and center console all in autism-awareness fabric,” he said.

According to Gunter, it took him and his grandmother about a week to sew all of the custom upholstery.

“When I got the idea to do something different on the inside, I wanted it to be me. My Jeep,” he said.

The colorful puzzle pieces symbolizing autism awareness are to honor the kids he has worked with over the past four years as a para, or classroom aide, at Gateway High School.

“It’s really great. People are not great as a majority, and working with them brings a lot of light into my outlook on humanity,” Gunter said.

On Labor Day, however, he realized his specialty SUV was missing from his condo complex near South Buckley Road and East Mississippi Avenue in Aurora.

According to the police report, it was allegedly stolen sometime between 1 p.m. on Aug. 31 and 2:15 p.m. on Sept. 2.

Gunter said there was glass all over the ground in the spot where the Jeep was parked. He says he could tell it came from his windows because some of the glass had stickers he had stuck to the windows.

“My worst fear is that it’s getting chopped up in a garage right now and all those parts are just going everywhere,” Gunter said.

According to crime statistics, 1,164 vehicles have been reported stolen in Aurora in just the first half of 2019. Motor vehicle thefts are up 2.7% compared to the same time frame in 2018.

If you see or have seen the missing autism awareness Jeep, you are asked to call 911. Aurora police say people should not approach the vehicle.

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