It was supposed to be a happy Halloween evening. Clara Rasch was an extraordinary 10-year-old with a seizure disorder. She needed a special kind of wheelchair. But that night was different. All around children were donning Halloween costumes and carrying baskets of goodies from house to house. For a while her mom left the wheelchair on their front porch. When her mother went to get the wheelchair, it was gone. They went from house to house in search of the wheelchair hoping that some neighbor might have seen it. The wheelchair costs $6,000.
Thankfully, the community rallied around the family and helped in the search. Some have even proposed raising funds online but the Rasch family politely declined, saying that they didn’t want to start these online fundraisers. And after a few days of searching, they’ve found the wheelchair at last, abandoned nearby. It gave great relief to the family to know that their child could comfortably travel on her special wheelchair again. (Firstcoastnews)
Why would people steal or ‘borrow’ wheelchairs?
One can either blame the spirit of Halloween trick or treating or human nature. Sometimes, people fall through the cracks of society’s safety nets and certain needs must be filled. Stealing wheelchairs hardly fits being called the heist of the year but is a very dastardly act that takes advantage of others. Some customized chairs can be quite expensive.
Lately, another story of a wheelchair that got stolen made the rounds in news in a Opyrland Hotel. This time a man blatantly took the wheelchair for a spin. Presumably intoxicated the man was caught, thanks to police, hotel security and the wonders of closed circuit television cameras. (Wate)
Maybe it’s time for wheelchair security devices
If one is keen to invest in an expensive and customized chair, security may very well be the last thing that would be on people’s minds. But as we’ve seen in the news lately, it may be time to exercise a little extra prudence in the care and handling of these chairs. Minding these may take as little effort as making sure they’re tethered when unattended. Bicycle wheel tethers may be the cheapest option aside from carrying chains and padlocks around. This makes more sense in the case when the person is living in a difficult neighborhood.
Others who have the wherewithal could also opt to install GPS tracking devices made especially for wheelchairs. Some of these cost around $100 to $200 dollars on Amazon.
A wheelchair is an asset and like all assets must be protected
Sometimes, things take on an attachment to people. Spending a significant amount of time on something that one may consider an extension of oneself may have that effect. But as callous as it may sound, a wheelchair is an asset with value. Like most things that have value, they can be subject to the rigmarole of property ownership. This unfortunately includes theft. In the same way, protecting this asset makes sense by exercising a little extra prudence.
Creative commons image via Flickr