Indiana mother begs for return of disabled child's stroller: 'Those are like his legs'
Who would steal from a disabled child? That's exactly what police say someone did at the Clarksville Salvation Army store.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A thief hit the parking lot of the Clarksville Salvation Army store and ended up stealing a lifeline from an 11-year old child with special needs.
Paige Stewart said her son Christian's Convaid Cruiser stroller was stolen along with her Gold 2000 model GMC Yukon SUV.
"Christian is my pride and joy," Stewart said. "He's got a beautiful smile, contagious laughter.
Christian can walk, though often he must use a stroller to get around. "Those are like his legs when he's out in the public," Stewart said of the stroller. "It's kind of like his comfort spot because he has trouble with social interaction and with people because of the autism."
Tuesday afternoon when the car vanished Stewart said is was like someone ripped the legs from underneath her son.
"We have a food pantry here, and I was helping a lady load her groceries up for emergency food, and her car was parked where my car was parked," Stewart said. She's a social worker at the Salvation Army branch off Little League Boulevard in Clarksville.
Her SUV is identifiable by an autism awareness sticker and an Indiana handicap license plate, with the number D349ND. The driver's side mirror is also missing.
Stewart said she was "completely panicked" when she realized the car was gone.
It's not just any stroller. Stewart said it cost about $2,500 and was designed to fit Christian's special needs.
"If the person who stole our vehicle would just leave the stroller on the other side of the gate, I would be so grateful," she said. "I mean, you can have our car. I don't care."
The Clarksville Police chief put a personal message on his Facebook page asking the public to keep an eye out for the Yukon. He said most times these thieves will leave the car in a random place, like in a shopping center parking lot, or an apartment complex or in the middle of a neighborhood -- but if it's going to be found locally, it will most likely be in the first 48 hours, and that time is up.
The social worker now needs help of her own to put Christian back on solid ground.
Late this afternoon, the family set up a GoFundMe page and someone offered to lend or donate the same stroller that Christian lost. The page is still up now to cover that stolen car. The Stewarts only had liability coverage and insurance won't pay.
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