MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When an Oakdale family’s van was stolen out of their garage, they lost more than just a vehicle — inside the 2016 White Dodge Caravan was their 3-year-old daughter’s special needs stroller.
Freyja is unable to support herself, and her stroller allows her to travel. It also helps her participate with other kids in school.
“The chair is vital to how we operate as a family,” her mother Alycen said.
And how Freyja’s stroller was stolen from the Brothen family, still has them in disbelief.
“We’ve been having problems with our garage door,” Alycen said. “It goes down and you think it’s going to stay down, and then it goes back up.”
Alycen thinks it was open while they were having dinner around 5:00 p.m. Wednesday. Her husband, Jon, went into the garage at one point and realized the van and stroller were gone.
“This is where we were parked yesterday at 4:30. And at 5:30, no longer here,” Alycen said, standing in the empty space in her garage. “We were literally in the house, 15 feet away, on the other side of a door while someone was in our garage and going through our stuff. And just driving off in broad daylight.”
The family said they can always rent another van, but the adaptive stroller was custom-made for Freyja.
“She has epilepsy, so she has seizures,” Alycen said. “We need to be able to tip her back if she’s having a seizure, or something like that. So she is really strapped in, so it’s safe for her.”
Perhaps most disappointing of all — this happened in their garage in broad daylight in a neighborhood they have grown to love and trust.
“Just don’t be trusting. You have to lock everything up as tight as you can,” Jon said.
“I think out bigger concern is getting her chair back so she can be mobile and we can take her places,” Alycen said.
Police have told the family that they aren’t confident the van will show up anytime soon. Alycen said the stroller costs about $4,500, and it could take months before a new one is ready.