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Thread: Police find wheelchair, return it; two charged

  1. #1

    Police find wheelchair, return it; two charged

    Police find wheelchair, return it; two charged
    Owner is happy to have it back, says burned-out motor will be costly to repair.
    October 02, 2002
    By Sue Weibezahl
    Staff writer

    Keith Horton's $10,000 motorized wheelchair is easy enough to use that it almost drives itself.

    Police are convinced, however, that the motorized chair must have had some help Monday when it disappeared from its parking spot at Horton's relative's house on Elmwood Avenue and turned up later a few blocks away.

    "Oh, my God," Horton, 19, said Tuesday. "I was so happy they found it. I couldn't believe they got it back and so fast."

    It was a case that had bothered detectives all day Monday after they were called to a house in the 100 block of Elmwood Avenue from where Horton reported the wheelchair missing, Sgt. Tom Connellan said.

    The wheelchair had been plugged into a charger on the side of his relatives' house overnight, but when Horton woke up Monday morning to go to school, it was gone.

    "You never like to hear about things like this," Connellan said.
    Horton agreed.

    "I couldn't believe someone would steal something like that," said Horton, who has cerebral palsy and has used a wheelchair his whole life as his only means of transportation.

    The word spread quickly in the department's Criminal Investigation Division.

    Hours later, Lt. John Brennan, a supervisor with the gang task force, was driving in the 300 block of Marguerite Avenue, less than a mile from Horton's home, when he noticed two youths standing around a wheelchair. He watched as one sat in it and the other tried to operate it.

    When Brennan pulled his unmarked police car to the curb, one of the youths ran to a nearby house.

    The teens denied they'd been involved in the theft of the chair, telling Brennan they'd noticed it in the street most of the day, police said.

    Detectives notified Horton, and family members drove him to Marguerite Avenue, where he identified the wheelchair. Horton's name and address also were on a label on the chair, Connellan said.

    The motor was burned out, making the chair inoperable, but Horton said it can be repaired - probably at a cost of several thousand dollars.

    The two youths, both 15, were charged with misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and criminal possession of stolen property, Connellan said.

    Family members helped transport the chair back to Horton's house, he said.

    © 2002 The Post-Standard. Used with permission.

    http://www.syracuse.com/news/poststa...7737217241.xml

  2. #2

    Restitution

    If these boys' families are not required to pay restitution for the damage they did in a court proceeding, this man should take their parents to small claims court to get the money back for the chair repairs. I hope that the court does award him this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    bad parenting

    It's sad to see so many kids in trouble. The parents need to be punished too and get tough instead of letting them get by with everything and not having to work or learn cosequences, but I'm sure you all know that. I had my chair stolen by kids once. I used to hop in my car in back of my private office and go to a drive through fast food joint for lunch. Rather than pull it in the car I'd just leave it. I came back once and it was gone. An employee in a nearby store saw teen kids in the area and called the cops who found them about ready to throw it into a large 15' deep irrigation canal. I just told the cops to give them a scare and tell the parents who just thought it was funny. About 3 years later the parents buried the kid.They just bought him a new car and he and his friends decided to get drunk and see how fast it would go. His 2 passengers were also killed.WR

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