LOUISVILLE, Colo. — A Pennsylvania family on a road trip is pleading with Coloradans to help them track down their custom camper after it was stolen from a La Quinta Inn and Suites parking lot in Louisville over the weekend.
Stephen Garcia, a Colorado native, and his wife, Erin McGann, spent four years planning a 1,600-mile road trip from State College, Pennsylvania, to Colorado. Garcia grew up east of Denver and moved away when he was 13 years old.
He remembers the mountains and wanted to explore the state with his wife and 7-year-old son. The couple spent countless hours over the years carefully planning out their cargo, making reservations at campsites and booking hotels to accommodate Garcia’s disability.
“We had to make sure everything was prepared because I’m a quadriplegic, so that makes things a little bit more difficult,” Garcia said.
The two saved up their money over the years and purchased a custom-built teardrop camper for the big trip. Garcia said his community came together to help him prepare the camper before they took off on Aug. 1.
The family arrived in Colorado on Aug. 4, and on Aug. 7, they woke up and the camper was gone. The couple had parked their camper at the La Quinta Inn and Suites in Louisville.
“I was in the hotel room getting ready for the morning and she came in crying,” Garcia said.
“You started crying immediately,” McGann added.
Garcia and his wife estimate a loss of $5,000. They said they lost their clothes and all of their cooking and camping gear that was stored in the trailer. Garcia got emotional as he recounted the loss.
“I can’t believe that somebody did this to us,” he said.
He says he was lucky his custom shower chair and his medications were in the hotel.
“It’s hard enough traveling with the situation that Stephen is in when you are already in a wheelchair; everything takes more time and effort, and this is such a long planning and prepping process, and just to have it all stripped...” McGann said.
Garcia and McGann put a call out on Facebook asking everyone to keep an eye out for their trailer on Craigslist and on Facebook Marketplace. They say it has several distinguishing features, including a flexible solar pad, Pennsylvania plates and a “Chris Craft” logo on the back.
They admit, their hearts are broken but the outpouring of kindness and support from family, friends and strangers is helping them keep their spirit alive.
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”We are going to keep pushing on, we still want to make memories. We drove all the way out here, we are just going to stay in hotels and with friends as we need to,” McGann said.
The couple says their insurance won’t cover their loss.
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