CRUEL thieves have left a South Tyneside father without a vital lifeline after stealing his mobility scooter.
Vince Pool, who has a range of mobility problems – including having metal pins fitted into his legs – has relied on the disability aid to help him get out and about since 2009.
Life is going to be a lot harder without the scooter, so if anyone knows anything please contact the police. The scooter is a lifeline for me and my daughter. I need to have it back.Vince Pool
The scooter also enabled the father-of-two, from Cornwallis Square, South Shields, to take his daughter Ellouise, to and from Laygate Primary School, where she is a pupil.
The eight-year-old has been diagnosed with hyper mobility and Marfan’s Syndrome – a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue – a disorder her mum also suffered from.
The scooter, costing £4,000, which had been paid for by Mr Pool with savings, had been left outside his home.
It was taken by thieves between 11.30pm on Wednesday April 1 and 12.15am on Thursday April 2 – stripping him of his independence.
Mr Pool, who moved into his property 10 months after his wife Paula’s death on Christmas Day 2013, after a lung transplant was unable to be carried out in time, said: “It is a lifeline for both me and my daughter. I use it to take her to school.
“I saved up for it with money from my disability living allowance and it helped to make life so much easier for both of us.
“It wasn’t just for me – it also helped Ellouise, as, with her condition, she gets out of breath and she would get on the back of it whenever we are out.
“She has the same condition which affected her mam, so I know how serious it is.
“We have been through so much over this past year and a half, and now what was a lifeline to both of us has gone.”
“They haven’t just taken the scooter. They have taken my independence.”
The 47-year-old says it is the second time he has been hit by thieves.
Two batteries for the machine, which were paid for by a charity, were stolen from him in the last couple weeks.
He added: “This is the second theft I’ve had in a couple of weeks.
“I just don’t think our home is safe for me and my daughter any more.”
Mr Pool says he has now been left to rely on the help of friends to get out and about, as well as taxis, as he is unable to afford to pay for another scooter.
The scooter is registered with the DVLA and is said to have two distinctive eyes painted on the front, and is burgundy in colour.
Its registration plate is NK09 FLB.
Mr Pool said: “Life is going to be a lot harder without the scooter, so if anyone knows anything please contact the police.
“The scooter is a lifeline for me and my daughter. I need to have it back.”
Neighbourhood Inspector John Smith said: “Enquiries into the theft are ongoing and we would ask anyone with information, or who may have been in the area at the time of the theft and may have seen people acting suspicious, to contact police.”
Police can be contacted on 101 ext 69191. Callers are asked to quote reference number 0019 040415.