Police Investigate Wheelchair Theft from Disabled Woman

6:29 PM, May 10, 2013   |    comments
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Buffalo, NY - A disabled Buffalo woman is angry and upset over the theft of her motorized wheelchair. That theft occurred sometime Wednesday night and now she's asking for help in finding the thief and the wheelchair.

Andrina Valentin says it happened while she was at her doctor's office. She had used a wheelchair van service to get there and left the heavy motorized wheelchair at her Riverside section home.
Valentin says a male intruder apparently took the wheelchair sometime before 8 o'clock Wednesday night from the hallway of her house in the 200 block of Ross Avenue which is right across from Riverside Park. 

She has owned the wheelchair for about a year. Her disability insurance paid for the device with a cost of at least four thousand dollars.

Andrina suffers from diabetic neuropathy which causes crippling pain in her arms and legs. It's even a struggle for her to use a walker at this point. That's why she needs the motorized wheelchair to get around and cannot believe someone would steal it. She says "This chair is my legs. It provides my life. I have a child that depends on me to get her back and forth who is also special needs. And I have appointments that I do with her and taking her to parks, to go shopping, doing things with my family. Now I'm a prisoner of my own home." 

Valentin says she did have insurance on the chair through the supplier. But she has been told it will take months to a year to go through the doctor and insurance approvals process to get a new one. So she would greatly appreciate the use of a loaner in the meantime. With the pain in her arms, she cannot use a manual wheelchair.  

Buffalo Police are investigating and ask anyone with information to call or text them through their confidential Tipline at 847 - 2255. Andrina says police may have a suspect in mind but obviously witness reports will help make their case.
She says police told her there may actually be a ring of thieves who specialize in trying to sell expensive medical equipment like this motorized wheelchair


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