Update: The Sims family tells Global News police have recovered their wheelchair-accessible van from the parking lot of an apartment building in downtown Edmonton.
The Sims family is pleading with the thief who stole their wheelchair-accessible van Saturday to return it — no questions asked.
The van was stolen Saturday night outside the Twin Willows Golf Club in northwest Edmonton.
Video surveillance indicates that the theft happened at 6:55 p.m., and appears to show the thief was a male who worked alone.
The family admits they left the 2014 Honda Odyssey open with the keys inside while they prepared to load their daughter into the vehicle.
“My husband was going to put Carmen in the van,” Mary-Lou Sims said. “He went out, looked up and it wasn’t there.”
The family was attending a Christmas-themed sale where their wheelchair-bound daughter was selling her handmade jewellery.
It’s a craft the 23-year-old with brittle bone disease has been honing for years, with the proceeds of her sales going to the Shriners Hospital.
“My first thought was how are we going to get Carmen home?” Sims said, describing the van as the family’s only mode of transportation.
“During the week she likes to go shopping or to her job at the Humane Society,” Sims said. “We really hope it’s not damaged and that we get it back soon.”
The vehicle is described as a 2014 dark blue Honda Odyssey. Sims said there is a sticker on the back of the van which describes the modifications to it.
The van includes a ramp that comes out of the side door allowing Carmen to easily get in.
Police are investigating but the family hopes the thief will realize the value of what he took and return it.
“I just hope he realizes it’s a wheelchair-accessible van and that we really need it,” Sims said. “Hopefully someone sees it and makes an anonymous phone call.