October 23, 2014

Thief steals wheelchair

Amy Cunningham
acunningham@gardnernews.com

For one Gardner resident the holidays haven’t rolled along quite as smoothly as she had hoped.

Police were called on Monday, Nov. 22 to the home of resident Jo Ann

Fetting to investigate a stolen wheelchair.  The chair, one of two owned by Fetting, was used by the Gardner woman to get from her apartment to a waiting vehicle where she had another chair stored — a practice she has repeated, without incident, for several years.

“Usually when I have to go to the store or to rehab (appointments) I wheel out in that wheelchair and I have a second one in my car so I don’t have to load and unload every time I leave,” Fetting explained.  “I leave that wheelchair out by my apartment, by the handicapped parking sign until I come home.”

Fetting, who is able to use a walker to maneuver short distances around her home, said that the loss of the chair will drastically change her life, making it more difficult for her to get to her appointments.

“I just can’t walk that distance,” she said, referring to the distance from her front door to her waiting car.

Fetting is sad, but not bitter, towards the person who took her chair.

“Everything happens for a reason and I hope that they took it for a good reason.  I hope that it went to somebody’s mother or grandmother and that they appreciate it. I hope and pray that it went to someone who needs it even more than I do,” she said, choking back tears, “I just think that they had to know it was for a handicapped person.  That has to be the lowest of the low, not because it’s personal.  It’s bad enough to steal, but to steal from a handicapped person, when that is their means of getting around.  I have to pray for their soul, and I have already.”

The chair is extra wide and it is missing the leg braces on each side. Police have no leads in the case. If you have any information on the whereabouts of the wheel chair or a suspect please contact the Gardner Police Department at (913)856-7312

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