Callous thieves steal former pilot’s mobility scooter

Thieves smashed into a lock-up and stole a former RAF helicopter pilot’s vital mobility scooter.

The heartless crooks broke open the padlock to pensioner Ray Gray’s garage and made off with the vehicle, leaving him unable to get around.

The 76-year-old widower – who rode the red Shoprider scooter every day – said he was left “stunned and heartbroken” when he discovered it was gone.

Mr Gray, of Charlotte Terrace, Islington, said: “I relied on that scooter and I have not got the money to replace it.

“I can’t explain how I felt when I saw they had taken it. I was just dead. I just don’t know what I’m going to do now.”

Without the scooter, Mr Gray struggles to do the shopping or get out to visit friends.

He can only walk at a snail’s pace and needs a cane to stay up, while even the short stroll to the bus stop in nearby Caledonian Road has become an ordeal that takes half-an-hour.

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He added: “Somebody must have known it was in there. They must have been watching me. I can’t believe they could do such a wicked thing to an old age pensioner. It has destroyed me.”

The vehicle was safely stored in the garage for two years. Mr Gray, who was in the RAF for 21 years before working for the post office, described it as a beaten up second-hand model that would fetch little more than �50 for the thieves.

He still carries the ignition key in his pocket – but he holds out little hope it will turn up as two weeks have passed since the theft overnight on Wednesday, March 14.

His friend Bill Parker, 77, of Bemerton Street, Islington, called the Gazette this week in the hope a kind reader will help.

He said: “The man has virtually become a prisoner in his own home. He can’t walk 50 yards without stopping.

“There has to be some charitable person out there who might have a scooter in the back yard that isn’t being used and would not want too much money for it.”

The theft is now being investigated by the Barnsbury Safer Neighbourhoods team.

PCSO Saskia Van Den Berghe said: “ It’s appalling that anyone would steal a mobility scooter from a vulnerable person.”

“I appeal to anyone with information on the whereabouts of this scooter to contact Barnsbury Safer Neighbourhoods team in confidence on 020 7421 0328 or call Crimestoppers anonymously.”