College Area thief stoops to new low, steals elderly man's wheelchair

Posted at 5:08 PM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-21 20:08:04-05

SAN DIEGO - A thief in the College Area has stooped to a new low -- stealing a wheelchair as two families sat down for dinner.

Yochanan Lapp is still shocked about what happened Friday night, and he told 10News, "I couldn't believe someone would do this."

Lapp said someone swiped a wheelchair that was sitting in front of his friend's house on Art Street in the College Area.

Lapp borrowed the wheelchair to help an elderly guest get to and from dinner, not thinking twice about leaving it outside next to one already there.

"I felt that if one was outside, if two were outside, no one would really take both it, because it's a really safe neighborhood," he said.

Now, he knows better.

"Someone who doesn't really have that much of a heart to really think that the person might really need it," Lapp said.

Not just one person, but two people. Lapp brought his elderly friend to dinner in the unmarked chair, which he borrowed for the night from his synagogue.

"I don't know if some students took it for a joy ride or someone homeless grabbed it for themselves; I have no idea," he said.

Now, the group had one wheelchair with two people in need, so Lapp had to walk his guest home in the only chair left. Then, he walked back to his friend's house to deliver the chair for the other guest, only to have to walk back a fourth time -- all without his sweater, which he left on the stolen chair.

"I could get angry, but it's not going to change anything," he said.

Lapp knows what he would do if he came across the wheelchair -- pick it up and take it back.

He said he is not reporting it to the police because of the time and paperwork it would entail.

Lapp said he will likely replace the chair for the synagogue.