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Custom-Made Wheelchair Stolen From Mount Airy Boy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia police are searching for heartless criminals who stole from a disabled boy. Someone took the one thing that allowed the boy to play basketball, a custom-made wheelchair.

Eleven-year old Rasheed Johnson needs a wheelchair to get anywhere. But he doesn’t see it as a disadvantage. He’s learned to live with it and play on a local team with the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.

Rasheed said, “You get with your team and you get with your coaches and have fun.”

He calls it his favorite and only hobby, but his future on the team is now in jeopardy.

“I’m angry because I never had someone steal my wheelchair in my whole entire life and this is a lesson to me that people in this world are not nice,” Rasheed added.

Rasheed’s mother, Stacy, explained, “He has Spina Bifida. He was born with Spina Bifida and these last couple of years it’s been really difficult because the weight has been coming on and coming on.”

So in addition to the manual wheelchair Rasheed uses everyday, his mother bought him a special chair last year so he could use it to play basketball and lose weight.

“The day when someone stole it, I had to go into another chair and I couldn’t push,” Rasheed said.

His chair was stolen last Saturday, the morning of a basketball practice.

“Same routine, go in the garage, get the chairs out and put them on the stairs so Para-transit can pick them up,” Rasheed’s mother further explained that she would run back inside to get her son and when they came back out, the special wheelchair was gone. The thieves managed to steal the chair in less than 10 minutes.

The chair is described to be red with vinyl seats. His initials, “RJ”, were written on the wheels and his full name, “Rasheed Johnson”, was written on the metal bar across the back of the chair. The chair cost $2,600. Insurance does not cover the cost.

Rasheed’s mother said, “I don’t care who did it. Just set it back outside. I don’t care. All I want is the chair back.”

With a basketball tournament game coming up in October, Rasheed and his mother are hoping whoever is responsible does the right thing.

Reported By: Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3


One Comment

  1. Kristen says:

    Hi everyone, the reporter for CBS contacted me and said that the family never got the wheel chair back. I’m going to be collecting donations to buy a replacement chair. Anyone interested in helping, please email me at Thank you!

  2. johndvampire says:

    I hope that the police officer of Philadelphia already caught the criminals who stole the wheelchair of Rasheed.

  3. K.M. Petrelli says:

    Who stole Rasheed Johnson’s Wheelchair…do you live in or near Mount Airy…did you hear about a stolen red sports wheelchair that belongs to a boy with Spinabifida…he needs it to play basketball…all you “ballers” out there with two good legs…see what you can do to help find that chair and return it to Rasheed! …(saw this story on the news). Please copy this post to your facebook! Power to the people!

  4. Monica Russo says:

    My daughter has sb and this story really hit home. My family would also like to make a donation for a new chair. Please contact us if the family needs help.

  5. dave farber says:

    i would also like to help please contact me!

  6. Dana says:

    I would like to help as well, please contact me with information.

  7. Brad says:

    I agree with everybodys comment and would also like to help financially to get a new wheelchair

  8. Greg says:

    same here, I would like to help replace his chair.

  9. Tara says:

    I just saw this and I can’t believe someone would do that. If the chair doesn’t get returned I would also like to help get a new chair. Please email me with information if the chair is not returned.

  10. Kristen says:

    I just saw this story on the news and had to look it up, this is so sad that someone would do this…I agree with Peggy and would be happy to donate money towards the chair. Please email me with information if it’s not returned within the next couple days…We need to make sure he can play in his bball tournament coming up!

  11. Peggy says:

    If this wheel chair doesn’t get returned, I would like to help him get new chair.

Comments are closed.

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