Thieves steal 34 wheelchairs

Heartless thieves made off with a truck full of wheelchairs and other equipment that took years of fundraising to buy.

The Saskatchewan Wheelchair Sports Association said 34 chairs and other equipment valued at around $250,000 were stolen over the weekend in Saskatoon.

Olivia Protz, 8, was stunned when she heard of the theft.

Protz has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a neurological disorder effecting her muscles that sometimes makes it difficult for her to balance.

But she can play wheelchair basketball, or at least she could before the theft.

She has a message for the thieves: “Give them back in one piece, make sure that they're in good condition.”

Joelle Buckle, head coach with the program, says it took years to cobble together the funds for the chairs, so the theft is “heartbreaking.”

If the items aren’t returned, Buckle hopes the new chairs and equipment will be replaced by insurance, but she believes that might take months.

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