Westminster

Officer Helps Get Man New Wheelchair After Theft

"Nice things do happen," the man said after police replaced his stolen chair

Police Sgt. Donnie Webb was patrolling an intersection in Westminster on Tuesday when he saw a man lying on a sidewalk with clothes strewn around him.

Concerned about his safety, the officer approached and inquired about his well being.

The man told Webb he couldn't move because he had cerebral palsy and his wheelchair had been stolen.

Webb is being credited with helping get the man a replacement wheelchair.

"Homeless people prey on each other. It is probably one of those situations that happens at night and goes unreported. He could have been laying there all night," Webb said.

Webb said that homeless often steal from each other, whether it be carts or wheelchairs, to sell as scrap metal or for their own personal use.

"It's nice, frankly, that the officer went out of his way to help the man," said Craig Orgill, of the Mission Palms Healthcare Center, the nursing home that donated the wheelchair to replace the stolen one.

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Orgill said though they don't normally donate wheelchairs, the center knew the  man needed one to get around.

"When we heard who the officer was helping, a lot of people said, 'Oh, I know him,'" said Orgill, who added that the man was regularly seen at the intersection and Mission Palms staff have given him shoes and clothes.

Webb said though the police department is looking into the stolen chair, he said he believes the wheelchair will turn in a few days.

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