Physically challenged man's stolen van found

CHESTER, Pa. - July 10, 2008 Dave Paterson of Chester lost his mobility to a stroke 20 years ago, had a heart attack 10 years ago, lost his leg to a staph infection a year and a half ago, and this week lost his specially designed van to thieves. He refused to believe it when his family told him it had been found in one piece.

Paterson, 63, says the Plymouth Voyager was stolen on Tuesday night right from his apartment complex. Action News broadcasted the story on Paterson's plight last night and just hours later a relative driving home stumbled upon the van. It was sitting in a parking lot not far from where it disappeared.

The van has special hardware to allow Paterson to operate the pedals with his left leg and turn the steering wheel with one hand. It seems the thieves took the van out for a joyride expending 3/4 a tank of gas and denting it up a bit.

Paterson's son in law is fixing it for free at a Chester Heights repair shop. The thieves ripped the ignition apart to start it and took off with the radio.

Paterson says his apartment complex is looking into whether surveillance cameras caught the van as it was being stolen. He, personally, has no interest in pressing charges.
Copyright © 2019 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.