Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Shawnee double amputee stranded after someone steals van

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SHAWNEE, Okla. - A Shawnee man who lost his legs from an infection needs your help after someone stole his wheelchair-accessible van.

It happened Monday morning off South Park and Forrest Street.

His van, a 2000 gold Dodge Caravan was with the caregiver at the time.

She says someone walked into her home, took the keys and drove off in the van.

Now, Ron Fritch can't go anywhere.

“It means a lot to us and I can't go anywhere if I don't have it,” Ron told News 4. “I was disappointed to say the least.”

Ron just got the van two years ago right after he lost both of his legs.

Friends and family raised over$ 6,000 to pay for it. Now, they can't afford another one.

"Nobody could hardly believe that it had happened,” said Linda Fritch. “Evidently, somebody felt like they needed a car for whatever reason and they just took it.”

They say the van made life a lot easier.

“With the power chair, you can't use a regular vehicle with it because trying to transfer him into the car and back out, then there's no way to haul the power chair around,” said Linda. “I don`t have a trailer or anything like that. The van, the lift comes down, the ramp comes down and he just rolls up in it. Your life is just,  I am a handicapped and I can`t do anything. I`m homebound. This type of thing. We didn't want that for him. We wanted him to be able to engage in life and to just participate."

Ron just wants to be able to do the things he used to, like go to church and preach and get dinner and ice cream with his wife.

“I wouldn't get to go to Braum's,” said Ron.

“He likes to go to Braum's and he likes to go out to eat and then sometimes we will just go for a drive and we go to church,” said Linda.

Ron says he wouldn't hold anything against the thief or thieves, he just wants the van back.

“If they bring it back, I will forgive them,” said Ron. “ I won’t even have the police charge them. If they just bring it back, it will be alright.”

If by chance you've spotted that van, give the Shawnee Police Department a call.

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