$3,000 wheelchair stolen while senior shopped at Walmart
Kent Molgat and Kendra Mangione, CTV Vancouver
Published Friday, October 28, 2016 6:47PM PDT
An elderly man from B.C.'s Okanagan is struggling to get around after his wheelchair was stolen outside the West Kelowna Walmart earlier this week.
Summerland resident Bob Mair left his wheelchair near the store's entrance on Wednesday, opting to use one of Walmart's complimentary motorized scooters while he did his shopping.
When he left the store, his wheelchair was gone.
"People that steal from a disabled person are really just scoundrels," he said.
Fortunately, the theft was caught on surveillance video. Walmart has cameras in the entrance, and police have obtained the footage.
Video shows a person being wheeled out on the chair by another, but the best look at the pair is from a video shot earlier. That footage shows them entering the store through another door in a less expensive chair, suggesting they may have made an upgrade.
Fellow shoppers were horrified that someone made off with the chair.
"It's amazing that people have the nerve to do something like that... It's sad," one person said.
"Too many crooks around," another added.
Mair has had to use an old, beat-up chair since the theft, and is having a hard time getting around. His neighbours said the theft was the last thing he needed, and that the senior has been struggling.
The senior is hopeful his workers' compensation may replace the chair, but was shocked that the thieves had taken "advantage of someone that is somewhat defenseless."
He said the stolen chair was "probably the top of the line" in Canada.
RCMP said the wheelchair is a custom Helio A7, and is worth more than $3,000.
It has been described as all black, with polymer-type rims and an upgraded seat cushion. Its footrests have been removed, and the brand name "Motion Composites" is printed on the backrest.
"We urge the person who took the chair to drop it off at any RCMP detachment or simply return it to the store," Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey said in a statement.
"RCMP would like to quickly reunite the victim of this senseless crime with his much needed mobility device."
Anyone with more information is asked to contact officers at 250-768-2880, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Kent Molgat