Police seek motorized wheelchair thieves

SANTA ANA, Calif. Veronica Martinez gets around slowly these days with the help of a walker on loan to her since someone stole her motorized wheelchair.

"It was sad when it got stolen because that's like a car for me," said Martinez. "Right now I can't go nowhere. I got to ask people to take me to places and I'm really dependent."

Martinez, 36, says she was visiting her friend in Santa Ana on Aug. 28, and she had to leave her chair outside since it was too heavy to lift up the stairs.

"I was keeping an eye on it and in a half an hour that I didn't keep an eye on it, it was not there no more," said Martinez.

"Some time between 10:30 and 1 o'clock in the morning, somebody, one or two people came along and stole this woman's wheelchair," said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.

Disabled since she was a child, Martinez has relied on a wheelchair to live independently. She relies on social assistance and does not have the money to buy a new one.

Martinez says her motorized wheelchair is blue-black marble in color. It's called a motorized Quickie, valued at about $6,000.

"If you live in this neighborhood and you see somebody with a wheelchair like that or you know someone who took this wheelchair, please call us so we can help try and get it back for her," said Bertagna.

If you have information or would like to help Martinez, call Santa Ana Police at (714) 245-8400.

People can send donations to:

Santa Ana Police Foundation
1801 E. Park Court Place
Suite E-103
Santa Ana, CA 92701

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