Van specially equipped for disabled man stolen at Hilltop Mall

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Brandon Thomas is paralyzed, he suffered brain damage and he’s cared for by his aging parents in San Pablo, all because of a hit and run driver.

But for 33-year-old Brandon and his family, the hardships keep coming.

The family's van, a 2004 green Ford Freestar, specially equipped with a lift for a wheelchair, has been vital to Brandon. It was stolen last Saturday. 

"It is the only way we have of taking him around to his doctors and therapist," said his mother Stella Thomas.

The vehicle was parked in a handicapped space at the Hilltop Mall in Richmond.

"They (thiefs) are the scum of the earth. The scum of the earth,” said Thomas.  “A blind person could see this is a specially equipped van. And to steal it anyway.”

The family believes a spare key must have dropped on the ground. But instead of returning the key, someone stole the van.

Richmond police confirm the van is still missing. And they say they have no suspects. None of that news helps Brandon or his family.

"It's devastating," said Thomas.

Brandon Thomas’ ordeal began nine years ago. He was riding his bike on San Pablo Avenue and 56th Street in Oakland when he was struck by a hit and run driver, who has never been caught. The family says coming up with the money for the van wasn't easy.

"It's not like we had the money lying around and said, ‘I think I will buy a van today.’ We worked real hard to get the down payment together," said Stella Thomas.

Now they just want it back.

"I need my vehicle. So please bring it back," said Brandon Thomas.

The van is an olive green color and has a disabled California license plate DP053LP.