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Make-A-Wish van recovered

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    A van with a Make-A-Wish Hawaii logo was stolen in Kahala.

A neighborhood carpool van emblazoned with a Make-A-Wish Hawaii logo and colorful graphics, stolen Sunday from a Kahala neighborhood, was recovered Sunday night in Waipio.

“The van’s back in good condition,” said Rich Erickson, a Make-A-Wish Hawaii board member, whose own children are among the 11 to 14 kids who ride the van to school every day. “The kids are happy, and we’ll be back on the road soon.”

He said within two hours of getting the word out about the stolen van, someone spotted the Mercedes Sprinter in a self-storage parking lot in Waipio and called police.

Erickson said a spare tire and some tools were stolen, too.

“To me it looks like they were going to come back for it,” he said.

He and his family left for about an hour Sunday, when the theft occurred then.

The street where the Ericksons live has video surveillance cameras, which caught a white car driving up and down the road and stopping and someone getting into the van.

Public Storage’s surveillance video of the secure parking lot where the van was found, along with the car and the suspects, is superior, he believes.

The families in the neighborhood got together to get the van for carpooling, and decided to use it as a way to spread the mission of Make-A-Wish Hawaii, which is to grant local children with life-threatening illnesses their wishes.

“The kids are like little ambassadors,” Erickson said.

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