Many people would be confused as to why someone would ever steal a wheelchair. People with disabilities need their wheelchairs to live and do every day activities. They depend on their chairs like most of us depend on our legs, something that I'm sure we take for granted. So most of us can't even comprehend why someone would do this but it happens all the time. Here are a few instances of this crime....
Take for example a recent theft of Matt Farmen's custom $20,000 electric powered wheelchair that was stolen in Denver, Colorado. Farmen has been in a wheelchair since the age of 11, when he broke his back in a sledding accident. But the custom wheelchair he had recently bought let him forget that he ever sat in one. The custom wheelchair had let him enjoy his one of his favorite hobbies, golfing. The chair had allowed him to stand up fully and interact as if he wasn't in a wheelchair. Farmen had taken out a $20,000 loan to buy the recreational wheelchair and he had said it was "worth every dime. it means freedom." There were no leads in the case but while the interview was being filmed below, something very odd happened. The apartment's security staff approached him and told him they had found his stolen wheelchair.
This second story of a stolen wheelchair ended in tragedy. 15 year old Tristin Hurley of Reno, Nevada, was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, commonly referred to as brittle bone disease. It was the same disease that Samuel L Jackson's character, Elijah Price, had in the movie Unbreakable. Tristin's wheelchair was stolen outside of his mother's apartment on Feb 29th 2016. Days after his wheelchair was stolen, Tristin fell and broke his hip and arm, which required surgery. A day after surgery, he died at home. His home town has proclaimed April 28th, Pay It Forward Day in his honor. Check out the video below of Tristin just days after his chair was stolen.
The third comes from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Roman Castillo was left paralyzed after being shot during a 2005 home invasion. After cleaning his $20,000 custom wheelchair, he left it outside by his garage to dry for a few hours Wednesday, March 9th 2016, morning. The wheelchair was stolen right from his driveway. “We realized that it was gone and the first thing that came to my mind was, somebody stole my legs,” Castillo explained. Castillo is worried that a kid might have taken his chair for a joyride and could end up hurt and permanently in a wheelchair themselves. He is offering a reward for return of his chair, no questions asked. Check out the video of Castillo below.
If you own a very expensive wheelchair, whether it is a manually wheelchair or an electric wheelchair (which can sometimes cost as much as a car), it might be a worth the investment to buy a GPS locator. You might have to recharge them every few days but it could be better than spending another $20,000 or more to replace it. Here is a GPS locator that might work with your custom electric powered wheelchair.