Disabled Peterborough woman is sofa-bound after wheelchair stolen

Karen Martin EMN-150324-141436009
Karen Martin EMN-150324-141436009
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A disabled woman has been left housebound after thieves made off with her car and wheelchair.

Karen Martin (44) is living a ‘nightmare’ existence and faces being trapped in her own home for the forseeable future as her mobility is severely restricted.

They’ve taken my freedom. I can’t go out without my chair.

Karen Martin

Karen, from Bluebell Avenue in Dogsthorpe, has arthritis in her spine and knees and relies on husband Ray (51) to look after her.

Ray, who left his job as a pensions administrator on Valentine’s Day 2014 to look after his wife, had seen her black Nissan Qashqai Tekna in their drive on the evening of Thursday, March 19.

But he was horrified the next morning when he saw the car, which has been modified for Karen to use, was no longer there.

Karen kept her wheelchair and crutches in the car due to the limited space in the house.

Karen said: “Ray was stunned. His face had gone white.”

The theft was a double blow for Karen who had her swimming kit in the car as well as clothing and a necklace.

Swimming is the only exercise Karen is able to do.

The car was found undamaged on the Friday by police in Branston Rise but all the items were missing. However, the car had to be taken in for repairs for the new few weeks to reset the computer system so thieves could not re-enter.

Karen does not know if she is insured for her special Bariatric wheelchair, which can cost over £1,000, or if she will have to save up for a new one.

Karen added: “They’ve taken my freedom. I can’t go out without my chair.

“I’m house-bound and it’s horrible. I’m having to live on my sofa and my husband can’t leave either.

“It’s a nightmare. They must have known it was a disabled person’s car.”

A police spokeswoman said officers were investigating but that no arrests have been made. Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.