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Disabled San Pablo man’s stolen van found

Christmas came early for Brandon Thomas, who went to the mall with his family last Saturday and had his van stolen. Not just any van mind you but the specially-equipped van that lets him get around despite the fact that he is paralyzed and also suffers from brain damage.
In a lucky twist of fate, the day after the family made a public plea for its return, the van was spotted parked not far from the family’s San Pablo house. No one knows exactly how the 2004 greed Ford Freestar got from a handicapped space at Richmond’s Hilltop mall to the family’s neighborhood. But his mother Stella Thomas is thrilled in any case.
“I have wonderful news,”  she told KTVU . “My niece was driving down a street close to where she lives and spotted a van that she thought looked like ours  She called me to get the license plate number and went back to check it out. Lot and behold, it was our van.”
Thomas, 33, has to be cared for by his aging parents due to injuries he sustained because of a hit and run driver nine years ago.
When his mother first found out that the van had been stolen, she did not mince words about the kind of person who would do such a thing.
“They (thiefs) are the scum of the earth. The scum of the earth,” said Thomas to KTVU .  “A blind person could see this is a specially equipped van. And to steal it anyway.”
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Now she’s just grateful that the van was returned.
 

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