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$22,000 raised for Milwaukee family whose van was stolen Christmas morning

Posted at 5:46 PM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-10 19:15:43-05

A Milwaukee family is at a loss after their wheelchair accessible van was taken and they're desperate to replace it.

The van was stolen Christmas morning and it was very special for Jose Figueroa’s sons.

“It was making things so much easier getting to appointments, therapists, school. You know even just going to the grocery store,” Figueroa said.“It was really nice actually. Custom made van.”

It happened right outside of his home on the near the corner of 6th and Pierce Streets. Police found it four days later torched on the other side of the city near 53rd Street and Lisbon Avenue. 

Since a GoFundMe account has been set up so they can replace the van, in seven days $22,000 has been raised.

“I’m at a loss for word, I’m feeling really emotional and nervous,” Figueroa said. “Now there’s a big smile on my heart.”

In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Figueroa expressed gratitude. His family plans to use the money to replace the van and get new wheelchairs for his two sons, ages 4 and 7, who need it most.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele donated $5,000 to the Figueroa Family.

“If there’s a lesson here its to be compassionate and be good to each other,” Abele said.

You can still donate by going to the GoFundMe page

Figueroa says any leftover money will be given to charity.

If you have any information about who stole and burned their van, you’re urged to contact Milwaukee police.