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Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department detectives are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a stolen wheelchair belonging to an individual with cerebral palsy, as well as stolen wheelchair wheels belonging to an additional victim who is paralyzed.
On Nov. 22, 2008, a vehicle containing a custom-made wheelchair for a cerebral palsy patient was stolen. The vehicle belonged to the mother of the patient. Though detectives recovered the vehicle in central Los Angeles three days later on Nov. 25, the wheelchair, which is crucial to the mobility of the patient, was missing. The patient’s mother cares for her daughter, who is in her twenties, has had cerebral palsy since birth and is completely immobile without wheelchair assistance.
On Nov. 29, 2008, a second victim’s vehicle containing spare wheelchair wheels and tires was stolen. Similar to the previous case, on Dec. 1, 2008, detectives located the victim’s vehicle in central Los Angeles and again discovered that the wheelchair accessories had been removed. The victim, who was paralyzed when a robbery suspect shot him during an attempt to steal his vehicle, needs the use of his wheelchair on a daily basis. As a result, his tires wear out often and require replacement.
Insurance will not cover the loss of the victims’ stolen property and they cannot afford to replace it.
Anyone with information regarding these thefts is asked to call Detectives Zavala or Woods at LAPD Commercial Crimes Division, 213-485-2509. After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text “CRIMES” with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips. When using a cell phone, messages should always begin with “LAPD.” All calls and contacts are anonymous.