Paralyzed woman pleads for thief to return wheelchair accessible van after stolen in Scotts Valley

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. (KGO) -- A paralyzed college student's specialized car was stolen by a thief and the Scotts Valley resident is making a plea to the public for help.

Her car was stolen near her home Friday night in Scott's Valley and when she came back out Saturday morning it was gone.

Kendra Kannegaard is the after school drama director at Scotts Valley High School. It wasn't that long ago, she was a student there.

"I was walking and I was a tap dancer, a theater kid," Kendra Kannegaard said.

Everything changed when she was 17. She had a tumor removed from her spinal cord and she's been in a wheelchair ever since.

Just this March, six years later, a custom 2005 gray Honda Element changed her life.

"I'm able to actually open the car myself, put the ramp out, roll up the ramp in my chair and then transfer into the driver's seat," Kendra Kannegaard said.

Total freedom, allowing her to get to and from her job at the high school and San Jose State University, where she's majoring in drama.

"It's more my independence was stolen, not so much a car," Kendra Kannegaard said.

The Element was taken from near her Scott's Valley home Friday night, devastating the entire family.

"She said mom, 'it's time for me to fly now. I've got my car, I can do it with this car.' So to have that taken from her is very, very difficult," said Jacque Kennegaard.

Kendra Kannegaard just wants the car back and she doesn't want to focus on whoever took it. She'd rather think about the immense support she's received from the community.

"There's way more people who want to do good out in the world than people who do bad things," Kendra Kannegaard said.

Kendra Kannegaard says Scotts Valley police told her they tear the city apart to find her car.
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