Wheelchair stolen from special-needs girl in Corona; community bands together

CORONA, Calif. (KABC) -- Corona residents are banding together to replace a wheelchair after it was stolen from the home of a 4-year-old girl with Down syndrome.

The specialized wheelchair, which costs about $2,500, was stolen from the family's front porch in the 300 block of W. Grand Boulevard between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

"I'm angry that someone would come and take something from her," said Alex Flores, the victim's sister. "Who does this? Who does this?"

Alex Flores says her 4-year-old sister, Jocelyn, who has down Down syndrome, needs the wheelchair to get around the house, and to go to pre-school.

Joceyln is unable to walk, which makes her dependent on the wheelchair for transportation, according to Corona police.

Jocelyn's mother says she's sad and disappointed that someone would do such a thing. The pink wheelchair, identified as a Kid Cart Xpress, is made by Sunrise Medical and costs several thousand dollars. The Flores family says they don't know what to do next.

"We just want a chair for Jocelyn, that's all we're working on right now," said Alex Flores. "If we can't find that one, then that's why we're working on trying to get her a second chair."

The story about a Grinch has since turned into a story of giving. After notifying the public, the Corona Police Department received an outpouring of support from the community.

It started with offers from neighbors, and now at least one group has offered to give Jocelyn a chair for free.

"It's overwhelming to be honest, I mean yesterday and this morning we were still struggling, thinking how are we gonna get Jocelyn a chair, now, all of a sudden, we're getting all these calls," said Alex Flores.

Jocelyn's mother says she's grateful and very happy that Jocelyn might finally have a chair so she can move around again. Thanks to the generosity of the community, she should have that new chair in time for Christmas.

"It's very nice. I'm grateful, it's beyond words," said Alex Flores.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the wheelchair burglary continues. Anyone with any information was urged to contact the Corona Police Department at (951) 736-2330.

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