A disabled woman is enjoying a new lease of life thanks to a Peterborough Telegraph reader.
The reader heard about the plight of Karen Martin (44) who said she was living a “nightmare existence” after thieves took her car with her wheelchair inside.
The theft between 11.30pm on Thursday, March 19 and 8.30am on Friday, March 20 had left Karen house-bound and practically living off her sofa as her movement is so restricted.
However, frustration turned to huge relief on Saturday, March 28 when Karen received a call from Cambridgeshire police at 6pm telling her the wheelchair had been found.
Police had been contacted by someone who had read about the theft in Bluebell Avenue, Dogsthorpe, and had spotted the wheelchair in Paston Lane, Walton.
Karen, who has arthritis in her spine and knees, said: “I could not believe it. I woke up a couple of times that night thinking I was dreaming.
I could not believe it. I woke up a couple of times that night thinking I was dreaming.Karen Martin
“I did not expect to see it again.”
The wheelchair is rusty and difficult to push after being left in the rain, meaning Karen will look to save up for a new one.
Until then, though, Karen is just hugely relieved that she can go back outside.
She added: “I’ve got that chance now where I can go out when I want to.
“I’d been stuck in my house for a week going crazy.
“The first thing I did was to go shopping to Waitrose to do something normal.
“I’ve called the person who found the wheelchair and thanked her.”
Karen’s Nissan Qashqai Tekna had been found by police on the Friday that it was reported missing, but all the items inside had been taken.
Some of these have now been discovered, including Karen’s coat and part of her swimming kit, although her crutches are still missing.
The swimming kit is important as this is the only exercise Karen is able to do.
A spokeswoman for the police said: “We were called on Saturday (March 28) by a woman from Peterborough saying she had found a wheelchair in Paston Lane.
“The informant has gone on holiday and returned to see an article in the Peterborough Telegraph saying a disabled lady called Karen Martin from Bluebell Avenue had had a wheelchair stolen from her vehicle on March 19.
“The informant didn’t see anything although felt this may be the lady’s wheelchair. The wheelchair has since been collected and returned to the victim.
“Officers have also attended the area where the wheelchair was found at the rear of Ferndale Way/Harebell Close and found more property belonging to the victim.
“CCTV has been checked which does not show the offenders.
“The victim has been informed that this case will be filed pending any further evidence coming to light.”