Thieves steal wheelchair-bound man’s van

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) - Some thieves who struck in Belleville maybe the lowest of the low. A wheelchair accessible van was stolen from a disabled man and now he’s pleading for its return.

“I was upset because that’s the only way I get around,” said Tom Biekert.

The 54-year-old man has a spinal condition and he’s used a wheel chair to get around for the last decade. He bought a used, 1990 white Astro van that’s wheelchair accessible. Someone stole it from his driveway early Thursday morning.

“Don’t have no value to most people,” Biekert said. However, the van means the world to him. He cannot go to therapy sessions or see the doctor, or visit friends and family.

“Makes me mad that they had to do this,” said Jean Biekert, Tom’s 85-year-old mother. “I mean, he needs that to get around.”

Belleville police say other cars in the Biekerts’ neighborhood were broken into at the same time. Only Tom’s van was stolen. They have another car, but there’s no way the sedan would work for Tom’s transportation.

Neighbors said they’re keeping an eye out for the vehicle and are asking everyone to do the same.

“It needs to be returned. It’s just not right,” Holly Dawson said.

Tom added, “I just want it back. As long as it’s not destroyed, I just want it back.”