Disabled man has wheelchair trailer stolen from shed in Sheffield

Disabled burglary victim Michael Wilkinson who has had his special wheelchair trailer stolen  from his garden shed
Disabled burglary victim Michael Wilkinson who has had his special wheelchair trailer stolen from his garden shed
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A disabled man has issued a plea for the safe return of a trailer stolen from his shed.

Michael Wilkinson, aged 61, has had the trailer for most of his life, and used to tow it behind his battery powered wheelchair to transport things around.

Disabled burglary victim Michael Wilkinson who has had his special wheelchair trailer stolen  from his garden shed

Disabled burglary victim Michael Wilkinson who has had his special wheelchair trailer stolen from his garden shed

He often folds up his smaller manual wheelchair for when he goes to visit friends, because the battery powered one is too big for use indoors.

Mr Wilkinson, who has cerebral palsy, said he is upset by the theft - in which the culprit also stole a radio of sentimental value which had belonged to Mr Wilkinson’s late mum, as well as 13 hand-painted models of gypsy carts and caravans.

An investigation into the shed burglary on Clarke Street, Broomhall, Sheffield, has been launched by South Yorkshire Police.

Mr Wilkinson’s carer, Vicky Bell, said she hopes the trailer is found.

Disabled burglary victim Michael Wilkinson who has had his special wheelchair trailer stolen  from his garden shed

Disabled burglary victim Michael Wilkinson who has had his special wheelchair trailer stolen from his garden shed

“The shed was broken into some time overnight last Friday into Saturday and the theft of the trailer is really going to have an impact on Michael’s independence,” she said.

“He used it virtually every day - whether it was to transport his manual wheelchair around on so he can visit friends, or to take his recycling to a recycling centre.

“It really does help with his independence and I am worried he won’t be able to get out to visit people any more because his battery powered chair is too big to get into houses, so he used to carry his fold-up one with him.”

She said she suspects the trailer was stolen for its scrap metal value. “The trailer dates back to the Second World War and Michael has had it all his life, adapting it three times to fit his chairs, so it would mean a lot if he got it back,” Vicky added.

Disabled burglary victim Michael Wilkinson who has had his special wheelchair trailer stolen  from his garden shed

Disabled burglary victim Michael Wilkinson who has had his special wheelchair trailer stolen from his garden shed

Officers in Sheffield are also investigating a shed break-in on Devonshire Road, Dore, where a mountain bike was stolen, and the theft of garden equipment from a shed on School Lane, Greenhill.

n Anyone with information about the theft or whereabouts of the trailer should call police on 101.

Disabled burglary victim Michael Wilkinson who has had his special wheelchair trailer stolen  from his garden shed

Disabled burglary victim Michael Wilkinson who has had his special wheelchair trailer stolen from his garden shed