Daily Planet Health Services' stolen outreach van found in Stafford

Posted at 7:06 AM, Jan 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-26 14:54:49-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Daily Planet Health Services’ (DPHS) outreach van is back in Richmond after it was stolen over the weekend.

On Wednesday, the Richmond non-profit put out the plea for the public’s help in searching for their vital outreach van that was taken from a repair shop on North Arthur Ashe Boulevard January 20.

The van was reported to be seen last at the Fredericksburg Burger King on Plank Road.

A day after CBS 6 first aired their story, the West Grace Street clinic said in a statement that the van was spotted by a Good Samaritan in Stafford.

“We still don't know the full story of its' travels, but we do know that all of you played a critical role in its return. An individual in Stafford, VA had seen our flyer on the news and on social media so when he spotted the van, he knew it had been stolen and called 911,” according to a statement.

DPHS had planned to use the van Wednesday night into Thursday morning for the annual Homeward Point in Time count (PIT). Agencies across Richmond work together to physically count the number of people living on the streets and set them up with services and supplies.

The statement continued: “We are incredibly grateful to the individual who spotted the vehicle, the media outlets that covered the story yesterday, community partners that shared the flyer with their networks across Virginia and to the local law enforcement officers in Richmond, Fredericksburg and Stafford who worked alongside us to locate the van. Thank you for helping us connect the dots!"

DPHS's director of development Sarah Tunner said the van was returned without major damage.

"It just needs to be cleaned up a bit. It’s been on a road-trip and we need to take care of it and make sure it’s in working order. The repairs that were going on in the first place have not been done yet," she explained.

The Stafford County Sheriff's Office said they arrested Alvaro Garcia, 35, with no address. He was charged with felony grand larceny and was arraigned Friday morning.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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