Thief steals van and wheelchair for disabled Fresno girl

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Nearly 10 cars a day are stolen in Fresno and one of those Monday was a one family's minivan. It was stolen along with a wheelchair for their child with special needs.

UPDATE: Police recovered the van early Tuesday morning, however, the wheelchair and car seat are still missing. The suspect, 39-year-old Caleb White who was driving the van, was arrested.

Monday morning brought an unpleasant surprise to Nicole Montalvo and her family.

"Around 7:15 a.m., dad was going to run errands and came in and said our van is missing and I thought it was a joke," she said. "I looked out the blinds and my van was gone. Kind of had like a shock moment."

The van had been parked in the driveway next to the family's trailer in the Town and Country mobile home park at Church and Chestnut Avenues in southeast Fresno. A surveillance camera captured video of the light-colored van being driven out of the park at 5:56 a.m. in the morning.

The theft left the family stranded.

"I'm sorry, it's our only means of transportation," Montalvo said tearfully.

The stolen minivan is a light blue 2004 Honda Odyssey.

"I realize my children's car seats were in there," she said. "And worse was when I realized my daughter's wheelchair was in the back seat. My daughter, she's nine, she's been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She is able to walk but she is really unsteady on her feet."

She can't go to school now without her wheelchair. A stolen vehicle report has been filed with the Fresno Police Department. Anyone with information about the stolen van is urged to call police.
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