Stolen Concord daycare van found at nearby Walmart

A 2006 model Ford E350 van that was stolen from a daycare in Concord was found at a nearby Walmart, a day after KTVU aired a story about the theft.

On Wednesday, Dianne Adair at Westwood site director Debbie Trammel  said someone saw the story on KTVU, which aired on Tuesday, and spotted the van at the Walmart in Martinez. Trammel said she got a call at midnight that the van had been found. The ignition was damaged, and the thief or thieves had stripped out the seats and took all but two of 10 car seats. She also was told she needed to pay $140 for its release and another fee to the tow company. "But they did leave us a Bible," she said with relief. "Thanks for all you did." 

The van is important to the daycare, which serves about 90 children. It had been stolen over the weekend. The center had been worried about how to get the children to and from activities, including summertime field trips. 

Surveillance cameras at a nearby elementary school captured two men walking onto the daycare parking lot around 9 p.m. Friday. Hours later, at approximately  2 a.m. Saturday, a man and woman were seen on the property. In that same hour, the van was driven around a gate and off the property. It was last seen headed toward Concord Boulevard.

There was no immediate word on Wednesday whether the recovered van had any identifiable fingerprints on it to link it to any suspects.

The same van was stolen last year from the daycare and recovered three weeks later at an apartment complex in Bay Point. No arrests were made in that case. But Concord police believe the same suspects might have stolen this van twice.