Paston teenager Colm Fudger (18), who has Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, Amyoplasia, a condition which means he is missing some muscles and affects both of his arms and legs, had been out in town with friends on Sunday night, when mum Kelly came to pick him up.
Kelly Gibson said: “Colm went to the bus station but the last bus had gone. He walked over to the taxi rank next to John Lewis, but there were no taxis there.
“He phoned us to try and get a taxi, but there were none available, so we came down - by this time it was about midnight.
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“We lifted Colm into the car - by this time he was freezing cold - but a brake lock on the wheelchair and rushed him home, so we could get a screwdriver to alter the chair so it would fit in the car..
“We left at 12.15 and were back by 12.30, but the wheelchair had gone.
“I ran down to Cathedral Square, and along to TK Maxx, while my partner ran the other way towards Long Causeway and Broadway.
“We then went to the area around the Passport Office - but there was nothing.
“We were parked outside John Lewis, and I rang the buzzer - there was an answer from the security guy, and he looked at the CCTV. He said three minutes before we arrived back, a homeless guy had taken it.
“Its a really slow wheelchair and the battery had nearly gone. I could have understood it if it had been teenagers taking a faster one, but this would not be any use to anyone else.”
The wheelchair has been used by Colm for the past nine years, and helps him keep his independence.
Kelly said: “ His condition is a bit like cerebral palsy, so this wheelchair was so important - it is his independence.
“He uses it for everything - without it he has to wait for me to get home from work so he can be pushed, but normally he is the life and soul of the party, such a sociable person.”
The wheelchair is described as being similar to the one pictured, but with fabric cushions instead of leather
Anyone with information can contact Cambridgeshire police on 101, or contact the Peterborough Telegraph who can put you in touch with Colm’s family.