A nationwide search has been launched for a stolen van that's been modified for a quadriplegic driver.
Mark Kern told NBC 7 whoever stole his van over the weekend in Oceanside stole much more than a vehicle, but his freedom.
Kern is a quadriplegic. A car accident left him mostly paralyzed when he was 19-years old. He has some movement in his arms, just enough to allow him to drive.
Police confirm they are investigating the theft of Kern’s 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan from his home in the 3600 block of Vista Campana in Oceanside. The van had been retrofitted for him.
He says it took him 10 years to pay it off and contains thousands of dollars-worth of medical equipment.
“This [thief] had to think about this. It wasn’t just an crime of opportunity I don’t think,” said Kern.
He said there were two other incidents. Around Christmas, he says someone broke into his van and stole some pocket change. Then around May, he accidentally left his key in the ignition, but then someone tried to start the car and broke the key, leaving part of it stuck.
Police said Tuesday there is no information on a suspect and they have forwarded the case to detectives.