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Woman stranded after mobility scooter swiped
10:47am Tuesday 21st January 2014 in News
A WOMAN’S only way of getting around was stolen from a shed where her landlord told her she had to keep it.
A mobility scooter belonging to 63-year-old Irene Smith was swiped from the bike shed outside her flat in Martin Avenue, in Hampton, near Evesham.
Her husband Keith spotted it was gone when he went to replace the battery, which he had been re-charging.
He said: “My wife can’t get out without that scooter. She’s going to be stuck in the house now. We’re left up a creek without a paddle.
“The shed was locked when I went down to it and the lock hadn’t been tampered with or broken."
Each resident of the block of 12 flats, owned by Rooftop Housing Group, has a key to the shed. But police do not know whether a key was used to remove the scooter.
Rooftop has replaced the padlock but says residents who own a mobility scooter should ensure they have somewhere safe to store it.
But, both Mr Smith, aged 61, feels Rooftop should take some responsibility as it told them the scooter must be in the shed.
He said: “When we took this place 18 months ago, we were told that we had to leave the scooter in the bike sheds because otherwise it was a health and safety risk."
“Rooftop, who told us we have to keep it in there, is not taking responsibility. It’s not our fault.”
The couple have asked for some help replacing the scooter, saying they cannot afford the £1,100 cost alone.
Juliana Crowe, director of housing and communities at Rooftop, said it has a duty to keep hallways clear and that items in the shed are there at residents' own risk.
She said: “As a landlord we have a duty to ensure that communal areas are kept clear from hazards. We reminded Mrs Smith of our responsibility when we discovered she was storing her scooter in a shared hallway and as a result the scooter was then placed in a communal, padlocked bike shed. "
Anyone with information about the theft should contact police on the non-emergency number 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously, quoting reference number 166S090114.