San Diego

A specially equipped van used to transport severely ill AIDS patients was recovered Wednesday after a man reported seeing the stolen vehicle, which he had read about in a newspaper article about the theft, an AIDS foundation spokeswoman said Thursday.

Police, acting on the tip, found the van in the 2500 block of L Street about 11 a.m. Wednesday and arrested a man inside the van on suspicion of possessing stolen property.

“Apparently someone came into the office who didn’t want to be named, said he read about our van in the paper and said he thought he saw it,” said Amy Somers, executive director of AIDS Foundation San Diego, a non-medical support group that owns the van. “He gave us the approximate location, and we called the police.”

The van, equipped with a wheelchair lift and valued at $40,000, was reported missing last week from a parking space in front of the foundation’s office in the 3700 block of 4th Avenue in Hillcrest.


The vehicle’s cellular phone, radio, speakers, battery, outside mirrors, wheels and tires had been taken, and a window was broken, said J. M. Evosevich, a director at the foundation.

The vehicle, which was towed to a dealer for repairs, was the agency’s only source of transportation for clients traveling to medical appointments and a food bank, Evosevich said earlier this week. The foundation provides about 500 trips a month to 100 of its clients, many of whom are low-income and have no other practical means of transportation, he said.