Heartless thieves prey on disabled

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A DISABLED man has spoken of his disgust after thieves stole his mobility scooter from outside his house.

Fred Stevens, 74, woke up on the morning of April 12, to find his scooter had been taken from the front of his house, despite there being no key in the ignition.

Fred, who lives in Sunny Close, Goring, is dependent upon his scooter as he has been left disabled following the onset of spinal cancer.

He said: “I need my scooter every day, as I find it very difficult – and painful – to move around on my own.

“It was parked outside my house, and I have no idea how the thieves took it, as I did not leave the key.”

Fred is now an extra £600 out of pocket, as he had to buy himself a new scooter.

He said: “I just cannot be without a scooter, so I just bought a new one. The first scooter cost me £800, and now I’ve just spent out another £600 which, really, I needn’t have.

“I think whoever took the scooter is disgusting. I cannot believe someone could be so low.”

It appears Fred is one of several victims to have been targeted by the thieves.

Fred said: “When I reported the incident to the police, they told me there is a spate of thefts in the area at the moment, which means the people doing it really cannot have any sort of empathy for others.

“It’s really not the sort of thing I need right now.”

Pam Bennett, a volunteer at St Barnabas House hospice, where Fred is a day patient, said she was shocked when he told her the news.

She said: “I remember I asked Fred how he was when he came in the next day, and he really was upset by the theft, and he is going through enough.

“I just don’t understand why people would do it. There must be some sort of market for them, but they should realise some people, like Fred, really are dependent on these scooters to get by in life.”

Sussex Police said it has carried out a number of enquiries to try to trace the missing scooter and track down the culprit.

A police spokesperson said: “This type of crime is mindless and has a huge impact on the victim each time.

“There have been other reports of thefts of this type in recent months and I would urge owners to secure their vehicles with locks and try to keep them out of sight. These thieves are heartless.

“Owners need to be wary and take the necessary precautions to keep their property safe.”