Custom Wheelchairs Destined for Disabled Children, Adults Stolen - NBC Bay Area

Custom Wheelchairs Destined for Disabled Children, Adults Stolen

"It breaks my heart," the nonprofit's founder said.



    Specialized Wheelchairs Stolen From Nonprofit's Warehouse

    California state assemblyman Matt Dababneh worked to raise money to replace the specialized wheelchairs designed for children and adults with disabilities after they were stolen from a nonprofit's warehouse in Van Nuys, Los Angeles. (Published Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016)

    Thanks to the generosity of the surrounding community, wheelchairs worth thousands of dollars destined for disabled adults and children overseas that were once stolen from a nonprofit’s Van Nuys warehouse will soon be replaced.

    Global Mobility, a humanitarian nonprofit that provides custom wheelchairs for free to those in need, reached out to NBC4 after discovering thieves had broken in Tuesday night and stolen 80 wheelchairs.

    The wheelchairs cost an approximate $12,000 total, the nonprofit said.

    They were going to be loaded into a shipping container heading for Yogyakarta, Indonesia, when they were stolen in the night. Staff at Global Mobility said they were left to fill the void of the stolen chairs.

    "It breaks my heart to consider that many children and adults will be denied the gift of mobility because of this brazen act," president and founder of Global Mobility David Richard said in a statement.

    A police report was filed, and the nonprofit was asking the community for help in finding the stolen wheelchairs.

    Their story caught the eye of state assemblyman Matt Dababneh, who tweeted NBC4 hoping to replace the wheelchairs. He said he raised over $15,000 as of Wednesday night and is expecting more donations to pour in. 

    "I was just horrified," Dababneh said. "How could someone be this callous to steal those wheelchairs?"

    The nonprofit was thankful for Dababneh's generosity and told NBC4 80 new wheelchairs will be shipped to Indonesia on Friday.