Severely disabled Stubbington pensioner left 'devastated' and confined to flat after mobility scooter theft as police appeal for information

A SEVERELY disabled pensioner has been left ‘devastated’ and confined to his apartment after his £1,500 mobility scooter was stolen by a ruthless thief.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 4:55 am

Eric Fowler, 72, has been left ‘drowning his sorrows’ and stuck inside his flat at Grosvenor Court on Gosport Road, Stubbington, where his ‘lifeline’ mobility scooter was removed.

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Police have launched an investigation and a public appeal to bring the cold-hearted thief to justice and to retrieve the device, taken between 2pm last Saturday and 1.30pm on Sunday.

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Eric Fowler, 72, had his mobility scooter stolen outside his home in Stubbington. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The scooter is described as a Shoprider Sovereign mobility scooter and is maroon in colour.

Eric, whose son is now in the process of buying a new scooter for nearly £400, said the incident has taken a huge toll on him. ‘I’m severely disabled and can’t go out without my scooter,’ he said.

‘I need a walking frame or a stick to get around. It’s like lockdown all over again as I can’t go out.

‘It has left me devastated. I can’t think straight. I got drunk to drown my sorrows. I have no hope of seeing it again.’

Eric said the scooter charger was left outside the building following the theft while he still had the key for it.

But, explaining how the thief could have removed the scooter, he said: ‘A mechanic told me all the keys for this type of scooter are the same so someone could have used a key from another scooter.

‘I don’t think it was a disabled person who did it but maybe someone who took it for a disabled person. It was someone who knew what they were doing. It’s crazy someone would do that.’

To compound matters, Eric discovered his contents insurance did not cover him for the loss despite him believing he was covered.

The pensioner is now hoping to find out if he is covered for the theft through the management company of the building, Anchor Hanover.

Eric said he was also a victim of previous thefts when his scooter charger was stolen six months ago - but does not believe the same person would be responsible for taking the vehicle so many months later.

He also had his wallet stolen from inside his flat three years ago when he left the door slightly ajar on a hot summer’s day.

‘I will look into getting a wheel clamp or something for my next scooter,’ he said.

PC Neil Nancarrow said: ‘(Eric) relies on (the scooter) and would use it everyday. It was his main form of transport and it enabled him to get out and about.

‘This type of scooter is quite common and is often seen out and about. If you think you might know who may have stolen it, or have been offered it for sale, please contact us as soon as possible.

‘I would urge anyone with a scooter to do something to help identify it as your own. Place stickers and markings that will be unique to it belonging to you. Thieves want something they can easily move on, marking it to be unique to you will hopefully thwart theives and also help in identifying your property should it be found.

‘We would urge anyone with information to contact us, and help us reunite the owner with his beloved scooter.’

Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting 44210243533.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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