Scooter stolen from man who broke his back

A Springfield man was robbed of the electric scooter he needs for mobility early Thursday morning.

Mark Craig’s power chair and two fishing poles were reported stolen out of his 2005 Dodge Caravan at about 5:30 a.m. in the 1700 block of Highland Avenue while he was charging his scooter, according to a Springfield Police Division report.

Craig said he broke his back a year and a half ago and has a deteriorating spine and is physically disabled.

The electric scooter, he said, is his “lifeline.”

“I have to have that chair to go to stores, to go fishing, to festivals, wherever I go. It’s my life,” Craig said. “… I keep it in the van because I take it with me everywhere. It’s almost as important as my heartbeat.”

Craig thinks adults are responsible for the theft.

“There’s been a rash of burglaries in this area. The yellow house over there got busted into. The white house over here got busted into. The two houses beside me got busted into. Tires have been slashed. The house across the street, the air conditioning unit was stolen,” Craig said. “We’ve got an idea who did it … but we can’t prove it.”

He called individuals who would steal from the disabled “lower than scum.”

Craig said the 350-pound electric scooter costs between $2,800 to $4,000, and he cannot afford to replace it. The fishing poles cost about $150.

He said the fence to his home was also damaged during the robbery.

Craig said he’s concerned about how he will get around without the scooter, saying his wife will now have to help him when they go shopping, and he will have to hope there are scooters available at the door of the store.