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Appeal after mobility car for wheelchair user is stolen from Rainham driveway

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:12 18 July 2018

Denise Simpkins' Ford Toreno Connect with license plate EG16 GYO was taken sometime between 11pm on Sunday, July 15 and 6.45am on Mondayin Rainham. Picture: Denise Simpkins (L) and Ken Mears (R)

Denise Simpkins' Ford Toreno Connect with license plate EG16 GYO was taken sometime between 11pm on Sunday, July 15 and 6.45am on Mondayin Rainham. Picture: Denise Simpkins (L) and Ken Mears (R)

Archant

A Rainham resident was shocked to discover her mobility car stolen from her driveway despite several stickers indicating that the car is for a wheelchair user.

Denise Simpkins who has had her mobility car stolen from her driveway in Rainham.Denise Simpkins who has had her mobility car stolen from her driveway in Rainham.

Denise Simpkins, 63 from Upminster Road North was surprised to discover that her mobility vehicle had been stolen from her driveway on Monday, July 16.

The dark blue Ford Toreno Connect with license plate EG16 GYO was taken sometime between 11pm on Sunday, July 15 and 6.45am on the Monday.

Denise’s insurance company are trying to find her a replacement car. However, there were personal items in her car that won’t be as easy to replace, such as her daughter, Claire’s special harness.

Claire has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and severe learning difficulties. She is 33-years-old but only weighs 6.5 st and requires a special harness when seated in the car.

Denise told the Recorder: “I will have to buy another three-point harness from a specialist company - that’s going to cost me £120.

“[Claire’s] seat belt was embroidered with her name and it said that she was epileptic and non-verbal.

“This was incase there was an accident, and anyone who might try to help us could learn about her condition.

Denise Simpkins who has had her mobility car stolen from her driveway in Rainham. Pictured with her daughter Claire.Denise Simpkins who has had her mobility car stolen from her driveway in Rainham. Pictured with her daughter Claire.

“It’s just a lot of aggravation that these people have caused me.”

In addition, Denise will have to replace Claire’s blue badge which allowed her to access car parking spaces for wheelchair users.

“My car has four stickers on it. One is a wheelchair sticker and one says please don’t park within six feet of the vehicle,” Denise said.

“Another one is a sticker from Havering’s Positive Parents group and another gives a warning that if there is an accident, please be aware that someone in the car may have a disability.

“As long as these people who took my car can read, then there are enough signs on my car to tell them that they are stealing a disabled person’s vehicle.

“I know it’s aggravating for anyone, but that car is her lifeline.”

If the car is not returned to Denise within 21 days, her insurance company will write the car off and she will have to make an application for a new car which could take up until November to arrive.

“I had the car as part of the government’s motobility scheme, where you can use the mobility part of your disability allowance of personal independent payment allowance to lease hire a car for three years.

If you have any information or spot Denise’s car please contact the police, quoting crime reference number 5411340/18.

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