Thieves stole handicapped van with Mill Creek family inside home

MILL CREEK, Wash. — UPDATE, 4/19/22: The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office found the van behind the Everett Home Deport on Avondale Road at around 1 a.m.

Original story:

Brazen thieves stole a specially-designed handicapped van out of a family’s Mill Creek driveway with the family inside the house.

It happened Saturday afternoon, and it has left their 17-year-old son without a ride. This family greatly depends on this van.

They use it to go everywhere, as their son has cerebral palsy, and he has a lot of appointments.

At least for now, when he is not at school, he is likely going to be stuck at home due to having no transportation.

“Hey bud, good to see you.”

Luke Buckley arrived home from Jackson High School to the loving embrace of his father.

“This is my boy, Luke,” said Bruce Buckley, “our pride and joy.”

Some of that joy was stolen Saturday afternoon when a couple of crooks fled in Luke’s specially built handicapped van.

“I think really it’s a crime, it’s a crime of opportunity,” said Buckley. “The door was open.”

He says Saturday his wife had driven her Jeep into the middle garage when she returned home with their two granddaughters.

Their oldest daughter was in labor, soon to deliver his first grandson. Luke’s van was parked in the driveway, and the middle garage door was open.

“The thieves came into the garage, went through my wife’s jeep,” said Buckley. “And then apparently went into the house and grabbed the van keys off the wall. And went straight for the van with her wallet in hand. And got out.”

Mind you, the family was in the home the entire time.

“I was in the house with my son, my two granddaughters, and my wife,” said Buckley. “So, there were five of us in the house.”

All this, as the intruders were going into the garage and going into the house.

“Apparently so,” he said. “We had no idea.”

But when the bold thieves stole this van, they took more than a vehicle. They drove away in the four wheels Luke needs to get around.

“Yeah, it’s pretty heartbreaking to us,” said Buckley. “Baseball is his life. So that van is used for therapy appointments as well as numerous baseball events. So, without the van, it’s pretty tricky.”

These vans are not cheap; this particular one was bought used and it cost more than $50,000.

Now the family is hoping the thieves will have a heart and return the van. If you recognize the van, you are asked to call the Mill Creek Police Department.