THE mother of a disabled boy has condemned the heartless thieves who broke in and stole his £3,000 wheelchair.
12-year-old Archie Parmenter suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy - he can barely walk and relies on the custom-built titanium wheelchair for mobility.
The wheelchair is used daily, often pushed by his six-year-old brother George on day trips, and to take him to Rumworth School in Bolton.
His mother, Sarah, aged 44, returned from a trip to the south this week to find the wheelchair, along with a 26-inch flat screen television, a bicycle and a rowing machine, missing from the garage of her home in Brynmoor, Smithills.
Public relations executive Mrs Parmenter said: “I am deeply shocked.
“I am a woman of the world and I get that there are thieves and that if you have things of certain value there is a chance they may get stolen.
“But the depth of their heartlessness in them taking what is clearly a child's wheelchair is something I just can't get my head around.
"I feel like it's my fault because it's my job to take care of Archie and make sure equipment like that is kept safe.
“I just wish it had been in the house, or somewhere they couldn't get at it.”
Mrs Parmenter is appealing for the thieves who stole the royal blue wheelchair, manufactured by Liverpool firm Da Vinci, with all terrain wheels — to return it.
She said: “They can keep the other stuff.
“If they would only return the wheelchair I would be grateful.
“It is the only way we can take Archie to school and on trips out.”
A police spokesman confirmed that they were investigating the theft.
They added: “We appeal to anyone who knows anything about the theft to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”