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Young boy's custom wheelchair stolen from vehicle in Avondale

Posted at 4:35 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 23:13:46-04

Someone stole an eight-year-old boy's custom wheelchair in Avondale and police officers and detectives are looking for whoever took it.

Hortencia Perez told ABC15 that her son, Eli, who is nonverbal, uses the specialized wheelchair to move around and get from place to place. It's a necessary lifeline that cost a couple thousand dollars.

"It got me very mad, I wanted to cry," Perez said. "It actually made me cry because it's my son's. It's his... it's how he moves around. He depends on it a lot."

She said the wheelchair is believed to have been taken sometime during the overnight hours between Tuesday and Wednesday around their home near 113th Avenue and Buckeye Road.

Eli attends Palm Lane Elementary, part of the Cartwright Elementary School District. He missed class on Wednesday because his wheelchair was taken.

"I freaked out," Perez said. "Right away I called his teacher and we called and made a police report. It was so upsetting."

On Thursday, Avondale Police was able to help provide a temporary wheelchair for Eli, working with Southwest Lending Closet. A permanent solution is in the works. Perez expressed her gratitude to Avondale police.

"I was so happy when I saw the wheelchair," she said. "And it's green, because his old wheelchair was green as well. So, he's going to love it."

Both Avondale police and Perez are hoping someone knows something that will lead them to whoever took it.

"Who's going to steal a kid's wheelchair?" said Perez said. "It's not nice."

Anyone with tips can contact Avondale Police at (623) 333-7001.