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Power Wheelchair Stolen From Santa Clara Woman

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Kathy Jo Swift of Santa Clara is forced to use a regular wheelchair after her $4,000 power wheelchair was stolen from her apartment complex on December 17, 2011. (CBS)

Kathy Jo Swift of Santa Clara is forced to use a regular wheelchair after her $4,000 power wheelchair was stolen from her apartment complex on December 17, 2011. (CBS)

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SANTA CLARA (CBS 5) — A South Bay woman is making an emotional plea after a piece of her independence was stolen. While police are searching for her power wheelchair, they said it will be hard to find.

As Christmas nears, all Kathy Jo Swift wants is a little compassion and her power wheelchair to be returned.

“I mean, it’s just, I lost faith in mankind after that,” Swift said.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

For the past seven years, Swift has been getting around on a maroon Jazzy Pride electric wheelchair. She normally parks it against a fence under a tarp at her Santa Clara apartment complex.

On December 17th, Swift found the tarp tossed to the side and her $4,000 wheelchair was missing.

Swift said she wants the thief, “To have a heart and think about someone. One day he may need the wheelchair and I would hate to see him go through what I’ve gone through.”

Swift must now use a regular wheelchair, which she lugs up and down the stairs. She said it tears up her hands and causes a lot of arm and back pain.

The 60-year-old said in her condition, everything from walking her dog to grocery shopping is a struggle without her power wheelchair.

“I’d appreciate any help, you know? Somebody could find it or return it to me, no questions asked,” Swift said. “I don’t hold anything against anybody; I would just like to have my wheelchair back so that I can have some more freedom.”

Police said they searched the area but found nothing. There are currently no leads in the case. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Santa Clara Police Department.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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