Thieves target Peggy, 89

Peggy Wilmer, 89, and Jane Taylor SUS-141112-112455001
Peggy Wilmer, 89, and Jane Taylor SUS-141112-112455001

An 89-year-old woman has been stranded in her own home after thieves stole her mobility scooter.

The blue scooter was taken from its pod – a mini garage – some time after Monday December 8, leaving Peggy Wilmer, of Broadfield, housebound.

Peggy, who had only had the scooter for eight months, said the theft had left her “very annoyed”. Now her only means of transport is a manual wheelchair which she cannot operate on her own.

Pointing out the thieves had left the scooter’s charger behind, she said: “It’s mindless. What have they achieved? The trouble is, they don’t see the results of their actions.

“It’s my only means of getting down to the shops, chemist and post office. I don’t go any further than that but otherwise, I’m cut off.”

The scooter pod was provided by Crawley Borough Council; one of a block of three in Peggy’s road. Scratch marks were visible on the doors of all three, suggesting they had all be targeted by opportunistic thieves at some point.

But only Peggy’s was broken into – and the weight of the scooter led her to believe more than one person was responsible.

She said: “Without the key it is so heavy and you couldn’t move it couldn’t lift it on your own. They probably thought they could free-wheel it down one of the hills but they couldn’t without the key.”

Jane Taylor, scheme manager with the council’s independent living project, called out a repairs team after spotting damage to Peggy’s pod door on December 5.

She said: “The door was bent at the top – some one could have levered it open.”

While the repairs were done quickly, they were not enough to save the scooter a few days later – so now all of the pods have had large bolts and padlocks fitted to them to deter thieves.

One major concern for Peggy was the fact she had not yet insured the scooter – something she regrets. She said she would not be replacing the machine and called on anyone with a mobility scooter to make sure they were insured.

Peggy’s message to the thieves was simple: “Stop and think of all the misery you are causing people.”

Sussex Police said a black scooter had been found in Carman Walk but had not been claimed or reported missing.

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to email call 101 quoting 240 of 09/12.