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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Vandals steal and damage Carlisle woman's mobility scooter

A young woman has been left virtually housebound after vandals stole and damaged her mobility scooter.

Rachel Lyon photo
Rachel Lyon with her damaged scooter

Rachel Lyon, of Lime Grove, Raffles, Carlisle, could only watch out of her window as the burglars climbed over a fence into her garden and hot-wired the scooter.

The 20-year-old has severe mobility problems after she was struck down with guillaine-barre syndrome, a rare form of paralysis, aged six.

She can walk just short distances using her crutches but relies on the scooter to get around.

Rachel said: “It was about 8.30pm on Sunday and I heard a noise outside. I saw a group climbing over the fence.

“I recently fell when using my crutches and broke my leg so I was reluctant to go out in case I tripped.”

Instead, she rang the police who soon arrived.

They discovered the thieves had kicked down a fence panel and attempted to ride the scooter through the adjoining courtyard gardens and onto the street. They were thwarted when they discovered the gates were locked.

Rachel feared the scooter, which was bought for her two years ago by the Living Well Trust in Carlisle, was damaged beyond repair but hadn’t had the chance to examine it before it was stolen.

“It was there at 9pm on Monday,” she said. “I was on edge all night and I kept checking.

“I went to bed early and when I got up in the morning it was gone. I just thought ‘here we go again’.”

The thieves had this time attempted to take it in the opposite direction through the gardens but were foiled by steps and cobbles and had abandoned it in a neighbour’s garden.

“I can’t afford to get it fixed,” she said. “Plus it’s been out all night in the rain, with the wires exposed.

Rachel said she believes it is probably teenagers.

Police arrested a male in relation to the first theft and have since bailed him.

A police spokesman said a mobility scooter had been stolen from a backyard at Lime Grove.

It was the same scooter that had been “hotwired” on Sunday before being found nearby with the ignition system damaged.

He added: “If anybody has any information about this incident we would ask them to contact us on 101.”

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