Baldwin Park family of 10 calls for help after specially-outfitted van was stolen

Leanne Suter Image
Sunday, April 10, 2022
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A family of 10 is desperately pleading for the public's help in hunting down their specially outfitted passenger van after it was stolen from in front of their home.

BALDWIN PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- A family of 10 is desperately pleading for the public's help in hunting down their specially outfitted passenger church van after it was stolen from in front of their home.

The specially outfitted van was stolen on the property of Apostolic Worship Epicenter (AWE) Church in Baldwin park, where the Barbosa family are church leaders.

The Barbosa's are a big family that includes eight children, ranging in ages from 17 to 10 months old. Their 15-passenger Ford van is vital to their busy lives, but now, it has been stolen by a brazen thief.

"We have 2 children with autism, and then our daughter, Hannah, she has hydrocephalus," said Michelle Barbosa. "And you know, there's so many different appointments that we have to go to."

"Ten of us, that's kind of uncommon, and with the van, we actually had to take a passenger van and take the last four seats out so we could fit in strollers and different stuff," said AWE Pastor George Barbosa. "The van is kind of specific to us."

The family's 2015 Ford Transit was parked between the congregation and the family's home, just inches away from their kitchen table where they were eating Thursday.

"We were just so shocked that somebody would steal our car so close to our home, on church property, that right there was just, you know, definitely unbelievable," said Michelle.

The couple says AAA had just jumped the van after the battery died. They left it running while George went in to get ready for a meeting.

"I went inside and changed, I came out and the van was gone," he said.

"It was such a big blessing, number one, to even get that size of a car for our whole family to be comfortable in it," added Michelle.

The family has filed a stolen vehicle report with Baldwin Park police. They're hoping given how specific and large the vehicle is someone will spot it, or better yet, the suspect will do the right thing and return their vehicle.