Stolen wheelchair returned to owner in Upper Darby

UPPER DARBY, Pa. - July 8, 2013

Police tell Action News that some neighbors took the wheelchair and played around with it.

Officers recovered the wheelchair and returned it to its owner, 48-year-old paraplegic Andrew Hinson, undamaged.

Hinson was forced to use broken crutches as a means to get around after the new custom wheelchair was swiped from outside his home sometime Saturday night into Sunday morning.

"I felt hurt, I was a little angry but mostly it was like despair," said Hinson.

May 27th - that's the day in 2005 that Hinson's mother will never forget.

The former barber was shot in the back during a robbery in West Philadelphia after closing up his shop.

"He's been victimized by different people feeling as though he's in a wheelchair, they can do whatever they want to him," said Phyllis Poulson, mother.

Breaking down the chair, which was fitted especially for his body, is a lot of work so for the past two weeks, Hinson kept it on a landing outside his home on the 7000 block of Clinton Road.

"I just knew that it was secure. Nothing has been taken in the neighborhood, no reports of any crimes or anything," said Hinson.

Poulson says her son is a survivor and his wheelchair, which goes for at least $1,500 online, is a necessity for making doctor's appointments.

There's no ramp or easy way for Hinson to get into his home. His mom and neighbors typically help move his wheelchair up and down the first set of steps.

Hinson says it was more convenient to keep his chair tucked away but now he calls that a big and almost costly mistake.

"Taking a chair from someone that is paralyzed and you know that they need the chair. I mean that is like the lowest form that you can do," he said.

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