Riverton police looking for person who stole van specially modified for wheelchair

Jul 16, 2022, 4:44 PM | Updated: 6:50 pm

RIVERTON, Utah — Not much happens in the Riverton neighborhood where Julie Krushensky lives. So, when she went outside this past Thursday morning, she didn’t even realize their van was missing.

“I didn’t even think, for whatever reason, to look for the van,” she said.

In fact, she had no idea until her husband asked about it later that morning.

“He came in the house, he goes, ‘Where’s the van?’ And I’m like, ‘What do you mean where’s the van?'” Krushensky said.

She looked around her neighborhood, but sure enough, it was gone.

“It was nowhere to be found,” she said.

That van belongs to her son, Gavin, who is paralyzed after an accident last year.

He spent nearly six months in the hospital recovering from a spinal cord injury.

Friends and family raised money to buy him a specially modified van to hold his wheelchair.

That van gives him some independence.

“It can get me out of the house, get me to therapy, get me to work, get me to see things so I’m not going insane here at the house,” said Gavin Krushensky. “Because sitting at the house, you can go insane really quick.”

A next-door neighbor’s surveillance camera captured video of a man trying to get into their car in their driveway on that same night. That man couldn’t get in because it was locked. So, he went next door to the Krushensky’s, got into their unlocked van, started it, and took off.

That surveillance camera shows the white van going down the road and out of the neighborhood.

“You feel invaded. You feel not safe,” Julie said.

(Mark Less/KSL TV) (Mark Less/KSL TV) (Mark Less/KSL TV)

Even more than that, though, the Krushensky’s are worried about getting their son to rehab.

He has made progress in the three months he has been home and has hope, if he keeps going to rehab, might be able to walk again one day.

“I tell them I don’t plan on being in this chair forever. I want to walk again, so whatever that takes,” Gavin said. “Actually, some things are slowly starting to come back from the spinal cord injury.”

However, that van is a big part of his recovery.

The family hopes whoever stole it sees the ramp and modifications and realizes it’s more than just a van.

“You know, we woke up the following day after this happened, I woke up in the morning and the first thing I thought was, I thought someone had some guilt and it’s just sitting there in our driveway,” Julie said. “I open up the blinds and it’s not there.”

The van is a white 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan with Utah license plate 5T6GS.

Riverton police detectives are investigating.

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Riverton police looking for person who stole van specially modified for wheelchair