SUV stolen from woman with brittle bone disease found, viewers step up to help

Candace got a surprise when she picked it up

Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at contact7@thedenverchannel.com or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.

DENVER — A plea to help find a stolen Toyota Highlander was met with calls and emails from viewers who wanted to help.

The SUV is a lifeline for Candace Trujillo and her mom. They use it to take Trujillo to work. She is unable to drive because she has brittle bone disease.

On Tuesday morning, their routine was interrupted by a thief who took off in the SUV as Trujillo was getting ready to leave the house. Her power wheelchair was also on the SUV, but it was recovered a short time later.

When Denver7 talked with Trujillo, she had no idea how she was going to get to her office. 

"It’s really awful. I don’t even know how to describe it. I’m at a loss for words because the car is everything to us right now. We don’t have one," said Trujillo.

After the story aired, several viewers offered to drive Trujillo to work or pay for an Uber. Another man offered to fix the car fix the car when it was recovered. 

"I watched the story, and it just broke my heart, and I had to get on the phone right away. It’s something that we specialize in, and I figured it was something," said BJ Penrod with BJ's Auto Theft and Collision.

Police called Trujillo at 3:00 a.m. Wednesday to let her know a woman was pulled over in her SUV and arrested. Northglenn Police stopped the driver of the stolen vehicle near Huron and West 112th.

When Trujillo went to the impound lot to pick up the SUV, she had no idea what was about to happen next. BJ Penrod met her there and paid for the towing fees. He then took the SUV to his shop where he will repair and inspect it for free. 

"We’re going to detail the interior, clean it up real nice. We’re going to put a new front bumper on it, do a mechanical check, make sure it’s safe to drive and also fill it full of fuel for her," said Penrod.

Trujillo was shocked by the generous gesture and extremely grateful.

"Oh, that’s so awesome. I’m happy for that. I couldn't ask for anything more. You guys helped me so much," said Trujillo.

The SUV appears to be running just fine, but her wheelchair lift is missing. Penrod offered to get a new lift too and says Trujillo's vehicle should be repaired by the end of the week.

Print this article Back to Top