Sacto 9-1-1
January 18, 2012
Lawyer pleased to hear stolen special-equipped van found in Bay Area

By Cynthia Hubert

Sara Granda is the first to admit that her beige 2001 Ford Econoline van is not a "hot" car in the traditional sense of the word.

But it became one this weekend when thieves stole it from the driveway from her apartment in Davis.

Granda, a lawyer who is paralyzed from the neck down, was left wondering why anyone would want the van, which has been gutted to accommodate her wheelchair and medical equipment, plugs along at about 10 mph and "has a hard time accelerating," she said.

"Maybe they wanted to transport something?" she asked.

She may never know. But after a few days of fretting about how she would get to her job with the state - not to mention important errands, including having her eyebrows waxed - she learned that the van had been found by police in the Bay Area.

Granda, 31, paralyzed in a car accident when she was a teenager, serves as special assistant to the chief counsel for the state Department of Health Care Services.

She said she expects to get her vehicle back next week after it has been inspected and repaired. Among other things, the thieves apparently jammed a screwdriver into its ignition to get it started.

"It's not worth much to anyone else, but its value to me is very high," she said. "I'll never be happier to see that old van again."

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