Wheelchair van stolen from woman with special needs recovered

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AURORA, Colo. -- When criminals stole a wheelchair-accessible van, they robbed an Aurora woman of her freedom to get out and enjoy her community.

Bobbi Jo Dunbar has unique special needs. The GMC van was specifically designed to fit Dunbar's large wheelchair that allows her to remain horizontal at all times.

Her family couldn't afford to replace the van and they said it was heartbreaking.

"I'm just devastated," Dunbar's sister, Carrie Ricard, said. "Finding the right equipment for her is very tricky. It's incredibly specialized stuff."

Ricard said Dunbar's favorite thing to do is go on rides.

Each week, her family takes her out of the home to the pet store, the mall, the grocery store, any chance to give her opportunities to explore.

Thanks to the specialized van, she's also traveled to 49 states.

"It's a huge part of her quality of life," Ricard said.

On Monday, the family got some much-needed good news. The Aurora Police Department said it had found the van.

"The van has been recovered. Thanks to the community for keeping an eye out," the police department said on Twitter.

It's not clear whether the van was damaged or if it is still operational.

The family started a GoFundMe page in case they needed to raise the money to outfit an existing van with Dunbar's equipment.

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