By Steve Patterson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Olivia’s love for life isn’t limited by her disabilities.
It’s limited by crime.
“It’s just hard to get her around,” her mother said.
A few Saturdays ago, Olivia’s mom Terry Golembiewski was working the deli at a Northeast Philadelphia ShopRite.
On a break, she discovered a pool of broken glass where her minivan should have been.
She watched the store’s surveillance video later that night.
“From the time he broke out the window, got in the car, backed it up and took off was 19 seconds,” she said.
When she realized her car was stolen, Theresa was angry.
When she realized her daughter’s $6,000 dollar wheelchair was stolen with it, she sank into despair.
“Bawling my eyes out. Covers up over my head,” she said.
Olivia has cerebral palsy, severe epilepsy and significant developmental delays.
Her stolen chair isn’t just a way to get around, it is an extension of herself.
“This wheelchair is custom molded to her body, it is actually meant to grow with her,” Olivia’s mother said.
Now Olivia rides in a loaner with a makeshift footrest and a single strap around her belly.
It is not much, but mom says school is important.
“Tuesday the bus driver came, didn’t even want to take her on the bus because it literally had no restraints on it,” she said.
Police don’t know much about the suspect other than he was wearing a light colored hoodie and may have used one of Theresa’s credit cards up the road at a gas station.
Her 2002 Ford Windstar is maroon with a white mark on the back bumper and the handicapped license plate #PD0628.
But she says it’s the wheelchair she needs back.
“I’m hoping that someone will see it and call it in,” she said.
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