Stolen wheelchair

March 31, 2009 4:04:57 PM PDT
Police in Upper Southampton Township are trying to track down the bandit who stole not only a wheelchair, but a young man's freedom."It was my life its how I get around. I can't do nothing anymore because I don't have it."

20-year-old John Feeley has been confined to a wheelchair all his life. A few years ago he got an electric one. It changed his life, along with a new minivan that was customized for the chair.

"My chair has a thing where it locks in while I drive and now since it's gone I can't even drive my car anymore."

Late Monday, someone stole his power chair right out of his driveway.

"I was so mad I didn't know what to do my brothers had to carry me into the house."

John had become a familiar sight in Upper Southampton, zipping around everywhere in his souped up wheelchair. It also had a special air cushion to ease the pain from recent spinal surgery. With the chair and the van, he was free and independent.

"This alone he doesn't like this because he doesn't like being helped really. This is what bothers him the most," said John's father, John Feely Sr.

The customized chair and special cushion are worth about $20,000. John's father says it's not just the money. The thieves don't know the true value of what they've taken.

"They thought they were taking an old electric wheelchair to kid around or whatever. But I mean that's his life, that's his life."

John and his father just want the chair back, no questions asked. The police are hoping someone sees it somewhere and gives them a call at 215-364-5000.

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