Specialized truck stolen from paralyzed man recovered

Perrin Nicolson next to his specialized vehicle, which was recovered Aug. 20, 2020 after it was...
Perrin Nicolson next to his specialized vehicle, which was recovered Aug. 20, 2020 after it was stolen over the previous weekend.(KKTV)
Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 5:04 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - After thousands of people shared a couple’s plea for help, a stolen truck has been returned to a paralyzed man.

Perrin Nicolson has been wheelchair-bound since losing the use of his legs in a rollover on Highway 83 nearly three years ago. Nicolson, his wife and infant daughter were on their way to visit family for Christmas when their vehicle slid on the icy highway and flipped over. Nicolson was thrown from the vehicle and has been paralyzed ever since. His wife has since recovered from her injuries and his baby girl was thankfully protected by her car seat.

Thanks to modifications made to a Chevy Colorado Z71, Nicolson is still able to drive himself even while in his wheelchair.

“It’s my independence. I can get around, I don’t have to worry about using Metro Mobility, which is the bus system for handicapped people, or get my wife to give me rides to work ... It’s important to have a vehicle and be independent. If I wanted to do something as simple as run down the street to the store, I don’t have to worry about how I get there. This truck will take me where I need to go,” he told 11 News reporter Kasia Kerridge.

But over the weekend, that independence was threatened when criminals stole his specialized truck.

“I had taken my truck into an accessibility shop to have some repairs done on it, and they had left the truck in the back of the lot for me to pick up on Saturday and I was unable to pick it up on Saturday, and when I went Sunday, it was missing. It’s my daily driver. It’s accessibility-modified, so I’m able to drive it from my wheelchair. It has hand controls, a valet seat, and the bed hoist,” he said.

Nicolson took to Facebook and asked people to share the description. His wife brought the situation to 11 News’ attention Monday, hoping for even more eyes looking out for her husband’s truck.

SHARE IF YOU CARE! This is horrible. A truck, modified for a paralyzed man, was stolen in Colorado Springs. The owner...

Posted by KKTV 11 News on Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Thursday, the couple says they got the call they’d been praying for.

“My wife this morning was getting ready for work and got the call that they had recovered the truck. We came out here [to the DoubleTree hotel off Lake Avenue and Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard, where the couple says the truck was located] and met the officers and investigators,” Nicolson said.

Nicolson and his wife tell 11 News the truck was found with two suspects and a dog inside. It was trashed when it was recovered.

“They found several meth pipes, there’s weed spilled all over the back seat, found trash, the dash is ripped out. I was excited to find it, but it’s still going to be a little bit before I’m able to drive it,” Nicolson said.

A spokesperson for the Colorado Springs Police Department confirmed the truck was recovered by officers doing proactive patrols in the area of the DoubleTree, which she said is known as a hotspot for motor theft crimes. A man inside the vehicle was reportedly tased after struggling with officers. He is expected to face car theft charges. A girl inside the vehicle was cited for loitering but isn’t facing charges for the stolen truck.

The dog was taken to the Humane Society.

Nicolson says he is deeply appreciative of how many people shared his story and helped police find his truck, telling 11 News that kindness restored his faith in humanity.

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