Villains of the Week: Wheelchair-Stealing Bandits

Thieves boost six-year-old boy's motorized wheelchair

Stealing a van is a pretty low-down dirty thing to do. But stealing a disabled child's custom-built motorized wheelchair surely must earn one a special distinction of despicability.

That dishonor was earned last week by car thieves who made off with a Country Club Hills family's 2002 Dodge Caravan that held six-year-old D.J. Slaughter's wheelchair. D.J. has cerebral palsy, and until Friday was the proud owner of a custom-built wheel chair that was specially made for him three years ago. The cost of the chair, which featured a glittery blue paint job and wheels that lit up, was $5,000.

The Slaughter's van was stolen from in front of their house on Friday and was later recovered––vandalized and abandoned. For some reason, the thieves took the wheelchair with them. First-grader D.J. can't speak, but according to the Southtown Star, his disappointment in being unable to go to school this week was self-evident. 

D.J.'s mom, Nicole Slaughter, has contacted her family's insurance company, but is not optimistic about being paid for a replacement chair. She just wishes she could get her son's wheelchair back, and doesn't understand what kind of person would steal such a thing. Donations are pouring in to buy the young boy a new wheelchair.

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