A pensioner in Aldershot was unable to leave his house for four days after his mobility scooter was stolen.
Great grandfather Tony Nightingale used his metallic blue Invacare Meteor scooter to make shopping trips and was distraught to find it and the electric charger were missing when he went outside his Laburnum Road home on the morning of April 10.
The theft has also left him penniless as he struggles to make monthly payments from his pension on a £1,700 replacement.
Mr Nightingale has mobility issues due to arthritis and cervical spondylitis – inflammation of the vertebrae in his neck – and his family do not live in the area.
“I was going to go to the shops and expected it to be there but it wasn’t,” he said.
“I’m not mobile at all so that’s my only means of getting out and about. I use it for everything.
“If I think I’ve got enough power I sometimes go all the way to Asda in Farnborough and then all the way to Farnham – 8mph flat out, going for it. It’s not just the annoyance of it going, it’s the stupidity of it.”
The stolen scooter cost Mr Nightingale £800, but the cost of replacing it means the crime’s effect on him has been twofold. Unable to walk very far, he lived off his supply of canned foods in his home until he was able to buy a new scooter.
The unexpected cost has also scuppered his plans to replace a faulty television and old carpets in his home.
He said: “The new scooter should be a good one, but not as good as the Meteor. The annoying thing is it cost me a few shillings over the years making repairs.
“I’m now having to cut down on everything to make the payments.”
Officers from Hampshire Constabulary have given him advice about fitting his new scooter with an alarm and tracker system and Mr Nightingale has created his own sign appealing for information, which is hung over the back of his new scooter.
“No one has called, but I’ve had a couple of comments,” he said.
The father-of-four, who is a First Wessex tenant, is also unhappy with the housing association as the thieves were aided by the fact his side gate has been broken for more than a year.
First Wessex asset management director Hazel Warwick said she was sorry to hear of the theft and that work would soon be carried out to fix the gate. She added: “Our neighbourhood manager will also visit the resident with the local police to discuss security measures that he could take to ensure that the scooter is stored in a safe and secure place.”
Police say the scooter was stolen sometime between 5pm on April 9 and 11.15am the following morning. Anyone with information should call 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting crime reference 44/14/0125691.