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Troutdale woman with disabilities has van stolen while at work

By Chandler Watkins

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    TROUTDALE, Oregon (KPTV) — This past weekend when Robin Montgomery was working her overnight shift as a shuttle driver when people came and took her van parked in one of the hotel parking lots.

“It was actually staged first by someone who had a bunch of keys,” said Montgomery. “They tried different ones until one fit. That was somewhere around three in the morning. Later on, between 6 and 7, cars pulled up and a guy walks out and walks right over to the driver side door, opens it up, hops in, and drives off.”

It was all caught on camera.

“The first reaction when I found out it was gone was panic because it was my livelihood,” said Montgomery. “I was going to live in that van. I had put so much hard work, sweat, tears and money to have it built up and it was almost done. It was almost done.”

Montgomery loves her job but says she cannot afford an apartment. She was planning on living in the van and saving up money.

“I was pretty livid about it,” said Montgomery. “Not just for my property being stolen but everyone’s property being stolen and the reasons why. I mean sure there are criminals out there who make it a career, but right now with the economy the way it is and rising prices people are desperate. The thing is though is that out of their desperation and taking other people’s property it’s also hurting us because we cannot replace things as easily. Me in particular, I work a minimum wage job and it’s very difficult for me to find a job that suits my needs. I have certain disabilities. I love this job but now I don’t have transportation to and from work. Now I’m worried if I’ll be able to keep my job or not.”

Montgomery says a friend will be taking her to work Tuesday and picking her up Wednesday after her overnight shift, but it’s not a permanent solution. She says she will be taking the bus as well.

She says she is trying to remain optimistic, but she knows police are understaffed and her vehicle being stolen is a low-priority crime.

Speaking to those who took her van, she says this:

“It’s not like I can get my van back if I ask for it, but whatever made you decide to take someone’s van with a handicap placard and a cane parked in a handicap spot: where is your compassion?” Said Montgomery. “I haven’t had an easy life. This happened and it threatens my job. Why is it that I am finally making it up to the top of the hill, only to be pushed down?”

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