Wheelchair stolen from Marine veteran’s home in Cape Coral

A Marine veteran says his current wheelchair has an issue. And he’s in a world of trouble because a thief stole his backup and the air compressor he uses to blow up his tires. Police told WINK News whoever is responsible is facing felony charges.

Veteran Scott Utley, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, is heartbroken his personal belongings were stolen from him at his home in Cape Coral.

“You took away my legs,” Utley said. “That’s basically what it is.”

But more importantly, this veteran is heartbroken his stuff was stolen in what he thought was a safe neighborhood. And it comes during his time of mourning.

“I’ve been moving stuff in and out of the garage, furniture or whatever, figuring out what stuff to get rid of for the past couple days due to my wife passing away,” Utley said. “And I’m like, crap, my damn wheelchair is gone.”

Utley said he took his eyes off the garage for a little while and came back to discover his VA-issued wheelchair was stolen along with other tools.

“To me, the air compressor, the tools and what not, that doesn’t really bother me,” Utley said. “But my damn wheelchair, that’s the only way I get to get around.”

Utley said he called police immediately. He went to Facebook to post a warning for his neighbors. What happened next gave him an amazing surprise.

“It’s making me tear up now, the amount of people,” Utley said. “Just one after the other, ‘I’ll buy you a new chair or a start you a GoFund me,’ do whatever. I really do appreciate it, but I mean, the VA said they’ll replace it.”

Utley said this is exactly why he moved to Cape Coral — for a loving and supportive community. But he hopes his misfortune brings his neighborhood even closer together. Utley said he is willing to forgive whoever took the wheelchair if they will return it to him in his front yard.

“I’m going to start watching out for my neighbors a lot more,” Utley said. “The ones we don’t know yet, we should get to know them, really start watching each other’s backs.”

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