Little Emma Rivera, 4, who suffers from cerebral palsy depends on a wheelchair to be able to move around, but on Monday, two men stole her wheelchair.
Deputies responded to a vehicle theft in the 16000 block of Buena Vista Avenue when a family reported to the authorities that the custom wheelchair built for her daughter Emma had been stolen.
Deputies were able to obtained surveillance video that showed suspects Eric Pepper, 47, and Jeremiah Hernandez, 42, stealing the wheelchair from the family's vehicle at approximately 3 a.m. on Dec. 3. One of the suspects was also seen carrying a trash bag and tossing it into a nearby dumpster, with both men seen getting into a black Land Rover.
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Deputies recovered the discarded bag and found a letter that appeared to be from an inmate in the Orange County Jail.
Investigators came to the conclusion that the author or recipient of the letter was one of the suspects from the wheelchair theft. The surveillance video also helped authorities arrest both men at a home in Buena Park.
As for Emma, her wheelchair was recovered, but it was damaged and no longer useable.
Rivera's parents, Franklin and Genesis Rivera, said that her daughter relies on the wheelchair, which costs approximately $10,000.
This story has a happy ending, as the wheelchair manufacturer donated a brand new wheelchair after investigators contacted the company.