Chippewa Falls veteran’s van stolen, burned in California

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Eau Claire (WQOW) — A Vietnam veteran and native of Chippewa Falls is still searching for answers after falling victim to car-jackers as he was trying to relocate.

Rex Shafer’s van, which had his entire life packed into it, was taken from him Monday after he made a pit-stop at a Walmart as he was driving through Yuba City, CA on his way to Arizona from Wisconsin.

Shafer who had lived in Chippewa Falls all his life, was moving to a warmer climate for health reasons, however the search for a home is still in the works.

“I lost everything at the Walmart parking lot there. I’m a diabetic and I’m on numerous meds. I had no medication or nothing. Didn’t know anybody out there in Yuba City,” Shafer said. “I went in with the shirt on my back and a wheelchair and I come out, that’s all I had left, just the shirt on my back, a gallon of milk and a wheelchair.”

Shafer is also a Vietnam veteran, and after these unfortunate events he is now living with his sister, Ronda Rosenthal, in Minnesota, who said she’s doing all she can to help her bother get back on his feet.

“I was pretty distraught and upset,” Rosenthal said. “I couldn’t believe it happened or that people would do that to a disabled veteran.”

Luckily, Shafer’s dog Reo, who was also taken with the van, has been found and Yuba City Police are working to fly him to Minnesota. If you’d like to help Shafer buy belongings and search for a home to fit his needs, you can donate to his GoFundMe, here.

Officials are still trying to find who’s responsible for the theft.

Samantha Wensel

Samantha Wensel

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