ST. CROIX FALLS, Wis. (WCCO) — Christmas came early for a family in Wisconsin.
Todd Angel’s van was stolen last weekend outside his sportsman shop in St Croix Falls. His wife, who was injured two years ago, isn’t able to walk and used the van to get around town.
WCCO did a story on the theft this week — and the very next day, Todd got a phone call with some good news.
The 2002 Dodge Caravan has been a part of Todd Angel’s family for almost 15 years. When it was stolen, he shared the story with WCCO to get the word out.
“It was absolutely, positively amazing,” Todd said, “Because I seen it air, and I’m sitting there going, ‘This has got to make a difference.'”
The next day, Todd got a surprising phone call.
“He said, ‘I think I’ve got your van,'” Todd said.
A man in Blaine purchased the van for $400 for his family, but told Todd he didn’t know it was stolen. He had seen WCCO’s story and heard about the health issues of Todd’s wife and wanted to give it back.
“He just felt like it was the right thing to do,” Todd said.
Todd caught a ride with a Polk County Sheriff’s Office investigator to drive across the river and forty miles to Blaine. When the father of four described seeing his family’s van again, he held back tears.
“It’s been a hard two years trying to keep the family together, work seven days a week, keep the bills,” he said.
Todd says getting the van back is a reminder something good that can come out of something bad. He credits WCCO viewers for spreading the word about his van, and the spirit of the season for giving him hope.
“All you news people, morning and eveningm you make the difference,” he said. “You always gotta have hope. This is the time of the year to put it number one.”
Todd says the there was some minor damage done to the front of the van. He plans to fix it up and sell it so he can put the money towards a better van for his family. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the theft.