A family of ten from Baldwin Park is pleading for the public’s help after their specially outfitted van was stolen from in front of their home.
Michelle Barbosa is the mother of eight children. Michelle has two children with autism and George has four. The family was able to transport their 15-seat van to all activities, meetings, and medical appointments in the local area.
George Barbosa serves as co-pastor at Apostolic Worship Epicenter, Baldwin Park. He claimed that he was at home Thursday evening getting ready for the evening, while his wife and children were dining at the table right next to the van.
They were experiencing an issue with the van’s battery which led to AAA being called to give them a jump. Barbosa explained that he turned off the car briefly and went in to change the oil to make sure it had a full charge. It was gone when he returned to the car.
“We spent a lot of time unfortunately in the van,”George Barbosa stated. “Hospital stuff, my daughter has hydrocephalus. On the 28th, she has an appointment at Childrens Hospital L.A. It’s a lot. We have two autistic sons.”
“We were in shock. We couldn’t believe that someone would steal our car on church property, so close to our front door,” Michelle Barbosa said. “I think, for me, the thing that made it the most sad was seeing my kids’ reaction.”
George moved a few items around in the van to make space for strollers and other essentials for the children.
Barbosa’s family has had to deal with even more hardships, in addition the loss of their van. Barbosa claimed that in August 2021, an unidentified transient set his personal vehicle on fire.
Both of these incidents were financially stressful for the family. They hope that the person who stole the van will do the right and return it.
“This kind of feels like one thing after another,”Barbosa spoke.
The Barbosa Family has filed a Police Report with the Baldwin Park Police Department. However, as of Sunday, the police had not been able to locate the van.
The family wants the public to be vigilant about their vehicle and report it to law enforcement immediately.