A thief managed to get away with a family’s wheelchair ramp in Chicago's southwest suburbs, but what happened next restored their faith in humanity.
Jeanette LaRue said she and her mom woke up in the middle of the night to a man stealing from their front porch last week in Tinley Park. Video from a baby monitor camera show him hauling a lamp, a TV tray, candles and much more.
“Why would somebody steal boxes of adult diapers off of somebody’s porch, and then I heard him taking the wheelchair ramp,” LaRue said. “I was like, oh my goodness, how low, how low can you be to take somebody’s wheelchair ramp?”
LaRue said her mom relies on the wheelchair ramp to get in and out of the house and even into the family’s car.
“We’re like we’re never going to be able to replace this,” she said. “We’re struggling as we are and just trying to stay afloat.”
Desperate to catch the thief, the south suburban resident shared her story on Facebook. Her post caught the eye of Freedom Rampz, a disability service company in Channahon.
The company surprised the family with great news.
“I was shocked, and I had tears in my eyes, and then I called my little sister and she got all tear eyed,” said Jeanette Olson, LaRue's mother. “Then I called my brother, and he goes, see, 'I told you there’s good people out there.'”
Freedom Rampz donated a portable ramp and plans to install a permanent one to help LaRue’s mom.
“I said there’s no cost to us, and he goes, 'No ma’am, We’re doing this for free,' and I go, 'wow,'” she said.
The family said they're so grateful for the generosity and love from people in the community.
“It restores my faith in humanity it does,” LaRue said. “There are good people out there.”
As for the suspect, police told the family the suspect was arrested Thursday at his home in Orland Park. He told police he doesn’t remember stealing anything from the family’s home.