Van stolen from paralyzed woman again

For the second time in five months, the wheelchair accessible van of a Decatur woman has been stolen.

In October it was stolen one morning and recovered the next day. This time, Sophia Powers’ van, stolen March 18, has been missing for more than a week.

Powers said her 1998 Chrysler Town and County black minivan was stolen from the house she rents near Columbia Drive and Flat Shoals Road. She lives there with her three young boys.

Because she was in the process of searching for another house, her family’s personal information was in the van, including Social Security cards and birth certificates.

“I’m trying to stay positive, but after so many days go by, it’s almost impossible to get it back,” Powers said. “The police haven’t found any leads and the detective isn’t calling me back.

“I’ve never had a problem with my van being stolen,” said Powers, paralyzed from the waist down after a 2009 car accident. “But my van has been stolen twice and my home broken into.”

She blames the crimes on neighborhood teens that she sees cutting school often.

In the house burglary, Powers’ laptop and her sons’ Xbox games were stolen. The landlord took two weeks to repair the locks, she said.

“I have definitely got to move immediately,” she said. “I moved here thinking I could save some money.”

The latest theft of the van has complicated life for Powers.

On March 25, Powers received a call from a school official informing her that one of her sons was having complications from an asthma attack and needed to be taken to the hospital. Without her van, Powers was unable pick up her son and took 30 minutes to arrange for a relative to pick him up.

The school officials, who threatened to call social workers, Powers said, “were making it seem like my son is being neglected.”

And on March 27 she is scheduled to have surgery for chronic muscle spasms at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. She said she will probably have to cancel it for transportation reasons.

“I’m pretty much stuck. I can’t even try to find anywhere else to live,” Powers said.

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