News

Coquitlam girl's stolen wheelchair replaced by anonymous donor

Ayat Mahjar, a 15-year-old girl who was left house-bound after thieves stole her wheelchair, is able to get to school on her own again after an anonymous donor paid to replace the stolen item. - GARY McKENNA/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Ayat Mahjar, a 15-year-old girl who was left house-bound after thieves stole her wheelchair, is able to get to school on her own again after an anonymous donor paid to replace the stolen item.
— image credit: GARY McKENNA/THE TRI-CITY NEWS

A 15-year-old girl who was left house-bound after thieves stole her wheelchair is able to get to school on her own again after an anonymous donor paid to replace the stolen item.

Ayat Mahjar suffers from a disability that leaves her unable to walk without the aid of another person. Since the chair was stolen last month, her father, Rushdi, has had to carry her to a taxi cab every morning to take her to school.

The family, which moved to Canada from Iraq nine months ago, told reporters Thursday they are happy someone donated a new chair.

"He feels very grateful for this person who is able to deliver this wheelchair for his daughter," said Magdy Attallah, a volunteer interpreter who translated for Rushdi. "He is very happy and he thanks them a lot."

The black wheelchair was stolen from an apartment building at 550 Cottonwood Ave. in Coquitlam on April 10 but police are now going public with the details of the crime after exhausting all leads.

The wheelchair was given to the disabled girl by the Red Cross Society and it was stored underneath the stairs on the ground floor of the apartment building. Last month, the family discovered the char was missing and Ayat has been house-bound ever since.

But just because there has been a happy ending to this story for the Mahjar family does not mean police have stopped looking for the person responsible for the theft, said Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Jamie Chung.

"We are obviously trying to catch the person who is committed this unthinkable act," he said. "Hopefully, someone living around here or who was passing by here has seen the perpetrator wheeling a wheelchair down the street. We really want to bring this person to justice."

Coquitlam Mounties area asking anyone with information about the theft to call 604-945-1550 and quote file number 2012-9445.

Anyone wishing to provide information anonymously can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS), online through www.solvecrime.ca, text at BCTIP and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Facebook at facebook.com/MetroVancouverCrimeStoppers.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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