HEARTLESS crooks left a disabled 91-year-old veteran speechless when they stole his mobility scooter from a shop in Littlehampton.
Great-grandfather-of-five Ray Croft, of Fitzalan Road, had parked up his maroon scooter outside the Barnado’s charity shop, in High Street, when it was snatched on Friday afternoon (March 6).
“It’s absolutely no way to reward a man who has laid his life on the line to defend our country.”Dr Charles Shlosberg
The Second World War veteran, who has a weak heart and relies on the electric vehicle to get around, was left stranded by the theft.
He said: “I was shocked really because it dropped me right in it. My walking sticks were in it, my gloves and fold-up umbrella, too. I was just left standing there without any walking sticks.”
The £1,500 vehicle was taken between 4pm and 4.30pm.
Mr Croft, a retired builder who used to work for Littlehampton Urban Council – now Arun District Council – added: “It probably didn’t upset me as much as some people. When you have been through war you just take everything in your stride. But I’m totally reliant on it. It’s just the thought that anyone would think of doing this to someone disabled that gets me.”
Mr Croft now has a replacement scooter.
But the callous crime has outraged his GP Dr Charles Shlosberg, who runs The Lawns Surgery, in Glenville Road, Rustington.
An appalled Dr Shlosberg said: “I think it’s absolutely disgusting and unbelievable in this day and age that anyone could take something away from someone who is clearly disabled.
“It’s absolutely no way to reward a man who has laid his life on the line to defend our country.
“The scooter is vital for him. He has got a weak heart and can’t walk very well at all. It’s absolutely essential for him to get about.
“If anyone knows the person who stole the scooter, please could you call the police.”
Police are investigating and are appealing for witnesses or those with information to email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 101, quoting serial 1083 of 7/3.
Mr Croft served in the 1st Army during the war, fighting in north Africa and Italy.