Thieves steal van from movie theater parking lot

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Albuquerque man is now homebound after a weekend trip to the movies took a terrible twist.

For Adrian Standing Elk Pinnecoose, getting around takes a little extra work. He uses a wheelchair and has a specially equipped van that helps him get from place to place.

His life was made more complicated Sunday after he got out of a movie at the Regal Winrock and noticed his van was missing from the parking lot.

“It’s just disheartening knowing that I felt safe going to a movie all these years and now it’s not going to be the same,” he said.

Pinnecoose was at the movies with his aunt and said at first, he thought they forgot where they parked, but they quickly put the pieces together that it was stolen.

“I look at him and he looks at me and I started cursing because I couldn’t believe my eyes and I kind of went into shock mode,” said his aunt and Caretaker, Gloria Gold Tooth.

Security cameras captured the van driving off following a pick-up. Pinnecoose has filed a police report but that doesn’t change the fact that he now can’t leave his home.

“I can’t just get into a vehicle easily because I am in a power wheelchair and bound to a wheelchair and just getting to my appointments or anywhere now is just an extra step to plan out my whole day,” he said.

Things he once loved – like going to get coffee with friends and making and selling his jewelry – are now out of reach.

“My van is part of my life, it is my independence and my freedom to get around the community to participate in art shows…and it is just very disheartening to know that someone would take the van,” he said.

He has never had anything like this happen to him but he is hoping to turn his luck around. He has created a page for people to help him find a way to get around.

Local artists are also planning a fundraiser to help him through donated artwork.