Montrealer has adapted van stolen in Ottawa

Michael Lifshitz.
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A Montreal man living in Ottawa suggests he might try to make light of the fact that his adapted van was stolen in downtown Ottawa last week.

Michael Lifshitz recently moved to the nation's capital from Montreal. He's a motivational speaker and standup comic with multiple congenital musculoskeletal abnormalities — he was born without a femur in his right leg — and needs to use a wheelchair most of the time.

He also relied on his adapted 2009 silver Toyota Sienna mini-van to get him around town — one which cost Lifshitz $31,000 to customize to suit his needs.

Lifshitz says he went for lunch last Wednesday, and discovered the van, bearing the Ontario license plate number BTHF483, was missing later in the day.

"I had gone downtown for lunch, parked downtown, and by 5:30, my van was gone," Lifshitz says.

He called the police, who quickly determined the van was stolen — and wasn't towed away by the city.

'It's bad enough to be a thief, but to steal and take away someone's independence takes a very special kind of person," he said.

While police are working to locate the missing van, Lifshitz is already talking to his insurance company, and is considering spinning the ordeal into a standup routine — if for no other reason to call attention to the fact the van was stolen.

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