NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A Mayfair mom is outraged after someone stole her 8-year-old son's wheelchair.
"The person that the wheelchair belongs to, they need it. You don't get them because they're cool—not like bikes or motorcycles." Meghan Aberkane is frustrated. She can't figure out why someone would steal her 8-year-old son's wheelchair right from outside her Mayfair home.
"Who could steal a handicapped child's wheelchair? I don't understand. I don't understand how you could steal a wheelchair—completely," she said.
Ryan has cerebral palsy and needs his customized $4,000 wheelchair to get around outside the house. On Saturday evening just before 6 p.m., Meghan and Ryan were returning from food shopping. She parked the wheelchair outside their Sheffield Street home and helped Ryan inside while carrying her groceries.
"I went upstairs and something told me to look out my bedroom window. I walked to the window and his chair was gone," Meghan explained.
Meghan reported the 150 pound wheelchair stolen and police have been searching for it ever since. They are checking surveillance cameras in the surrounding area looking for the thief or a vehicle. They're also checking neighborhood pawn shops and scrap yards
"We saw some people out there in the time frame. We're trying to narrow it down. If any people were out there and saw something please contact us," Northeast Detectives Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum said.
A family friend has also started a GoFundMe page to raise money to buy Ryan a new chair. His mom says it takes a couple of months to get him fitted for a new wheelchair and then a couple more months to build it. In the meantime, someone donated a chair to help Ryan out for now, but he needs his chair back.
"No questions asked I'm sure the mother would just like it returned and that's all we're asking for," Lt. Rosenbaum said.
"Please return it. My son needs it to get around. It's not a fad, he doesn't sit in it so he looks cool. He sits in it because he has to. He doesn't have a choice," Meghan said.
Ryan's chair was manufactured by National Seating and Mobility. Ryan's mom says the company has offered to replace the chair. So far, the GoFundMe page has generated $5,000 in donations with a goal of $6,000. Police are still investigating.
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