June 27, 2002 15:15
YOUR Evening Star has helped reunite a multiple sclerosis sufferer with his wheelchair after it was stolen on Saturday.
Sean McManus's £3,000 top-of-the-range chair was found in the Royal British Legion club's car park in Mill Lane, Felixstowe, yesterday.
Police said the person who reported finding the chair had seen it in the car park on Saturday and told the police after hearing about Mr McManus's plight.
Mr McManus's wife, Grace, said: "The police think because of the publicity, the thieves had dumped it. It is quite different from the others.
"It's got a lot of grass on it but the batteries are still on it," she said.
Mrs McManus said she assumed the distinctive green and grey motorised wheelchair had been stolen by children who had been joyriding on the donated two-year-old machine, but that they had dumped it after the batteries had gone flat.
Mrs McManus said a friend had also called her earlier yesterday and told her that she had seen children riding on a wheelchair identical to Mr McManus's on Crescent Road, but that she had not made the connection until reading about it.
Although the chair has been recovered, police are still eager to catch the thieves.
Mrs McManus said: "It not only affects the person it was taken from but the whole family. I am going up town to get a bicycle chain."
The chair, which cannot be immobilised, was stolen between 12.15pm and 1pm on Saturday while Mr McManus had gone in to the Felixstowe Bowls Club to buy a cup of coffee.
He had been collecting money for charity outside the Solar Superstore before his break and had left his coat and a cap on the chair. But only minutes later the chair was gone.
The cap, which was of sentimental value, has not been found.
Mr McManus said he had been afraid that, without his wheelchair, he would lose his independence.
He said: "I don't get papers delivered. I collect them so I get out."
The wheelchair enables him to go out on his own so that his wife can carry out her duties as chairwoman of the East Suffolk Community Health Council.
Anyone with any information on the theft should contact Suffolk Police
on 01473 613500.
Copyright © 2002 Archant Regional