Delight as scooter is returned

jpco-12-12-12 Esther Sharp has had her mobilty scooter stolen. She is 79 and it was the last thing her best friend gave to her before she died. (Pic by Jon Rigby)
jpco-12-12-12 Esther Sharp has had her mobilty scooter stolen. She is 79 and it was the last thing her best friend gave to her before she died. (Pic by Jon Rigby)

An elderly woman who was left heartbroken after her mobility scooter was stolen is delighted it has been found.

Esther Sharp, 79, from Barry Close, in Tilgate, parked the scooter outside her home on December 5 when thieves struck.

Her son Andrew launched an appeal through the Observer pleading for the thieves to return the scooter - which was the last present given to Esther by her best friend.

She also relied on the scooter to visit her daughter in Broadfield and maintain her independence because she cannot walk very far.

Now the scooter has been found.

Andrew, 51, said: “Someone spotted it in some flats in Ashdown Drive. A picture of it had been put up on Facebook and someone recognised it in the flats and called the police.

“Someone contacted my niece and the police took it away to do some forensic tests on it. It had been abandoned in the block of flats.

“It looked like they (the thieves) had hot wired it and so that had to be repaired and some of the black plastic on it had been taken off.

“But apart from that, it was fine and it is now all fixed up and back outside her front door.

“My mum is so happy, we didn’t think that we would get it back, it was very good. It is lovely.”

Karen Bell, who works at scootersforyou, a mobility scooter company in Crawley, spotted the Observer’s article and offered to give Esther a scooter for free.

Andrew said although his mum’s scooter has now been found he was grateful for the kind offer.

He said: “If my mum’s scooter had not now been found, that would have been fantastic. We want to thank her for heroffer that would have been unbelievable.

“I said to my mum the other day, people have been brilliant, they have been really nice.

“It shows that there are still some good and nice people in the world.”

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: “We’re delighted that the scooter has been found and returned to its rightful owner, a woman of 79 who clearly needed the vehicle to get out and about. If anyone has any information as to who stole it then we are anxious to hear from them via 101, quoting serial 0120 of 6 December.”