Jeff Slaasted says the thief targeted his Harmony Subdivision home in the middle of the night. Now, Slaasted is going to several lengths to get it back.
Slaasted, who lives in a cul-de-sac, said his eyes have been open since the incident.
“We have been searching everywhere,” he said. His family helped him hang a large, easy-to-read poster on the back of his truck.
With the word 'stolen' in bold letters, the poster contains all the information about the missing wheelchair. He's passed out the same information in a flyer in hopes that someone will spot it. “I have given flyers to the VA. I have hung them in the VA where allowed. I have gone to the markets in the area," he said.
Slaasted noticed the chair missing early Sunday, just before leaving for church. A Quantum Q6 Edge Series, it went missing from Slaasted's front porch, where a custom-made access ramp made the chair accessible to the home.
He said thefts aren't common in his neighborhood and he never suspected anyone would steal anything from his cul de sac, least of all a much-needed wheelchair.
Family and friends helped the the Navy veteran search the subdivision. “My daughter looked around the neighborhood, couldn't find it. My neighbor went the other way."
The double amputee says the theft impacts his health. His prosthetic legs allows him to walk, but with limitations. He also relies on help from his service dog of several years, Ginger.
His ongoing job seach has been impacted, but Slaasted says he refuses to just sit at home. He proudly flies the American flag on the same front porch where the theft happened. “It was a crime of opportunity,” he said. “Hey look, we can get this chair.”
If you have any information that could help investigators, call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.
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