EFFORT, Pa. — At just 5 years old, Mikey from Chestnuthill Township hasn't had it easy. When he was just a baby, he suffered a traumatic brain injury, making it difficult for him to walk.
But now, Mikey's mom says the wheelchair he uses to get around was stolen from the front yard of their home near Effort.
"He can walk just very short distances with a walker. So, you know, this is his main mode of transportation, and he's starting kindergarten in a couple of weeks and this is going to be a challenge," said Mikey's mom Colleen Stipeck.
Stipeck said the wheelchair had gotten wet during football practice for one of Mikey's siblings on Tuesday night. So she put it outside to dry, and the following morning when it was time to leave for practice, it was gone.
"I went out and no wheelchair. We looked around. We looked everywhere, across the street," Stipeck said. "I'm like, 'Check the shed, check the garage. Did somebody put it away? Ask your friends did they see it as they were riding around.' And nobody's seen it."
Stipeck says her property doesn't butt up to the roadway, which means someone had to come across her front lawn, just steps away from her front door, to get it.
"Was it kids in the neighborhood? Although we know most of the kids in the neighborhood and they know him. Did they just take it for a ride? You know, it goes to the worst part. Did somebody take it and will they be back to look for anything else? Did somebody just fall on hard times and was like, 'Hey, I can scrap that.'"
Stipeck filed a report with the state police, hoping that whoever took Mikey's wheelchair would return it.
"We are just hoping whoever took it brings it back. You know, no questions asked, we don't care. Drop it off at 2 o'clock in the morning. Maybe we'll wake up to it one day."
State police are investigating.
If you have a wheelchair that may fit Mikey, you asked to contact Colleen Stipeck at email@example.com