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Brooklyn Woman With Cerebral Palsy Has Stolen Wheelchair Returned Thanks to Eagle-Eyed Former Cop

What to Know

  • Ji-Eun Kim says her motorized wheelchair was stolen from outside her pastor's home in Brooklyn on Saturday
  • She had to use a non-motorized wheelchair and have someone else push her around
  • A neighbor and former-police officer has since found the wheelchair, dumped several blocks from her home

Ji-Eun Kim has had her freedom restored after an eagle-eyed former cop spotted her stolen wheelchair dumped in an unusual spot. 

The wheelchair was stolen from outside her pastor's home in Brooklyn Saturday night. But less than 48-hours after the theft, she has it back thanks to neighbor Charlie Barbiero, who noticed the wheelchair dumped in the bushes about two blocks away. 

 “Yesterday, I saw it there, but I thought it was somebody in the store’s," he said. But after word spread about the missing wheelchair, Barbiero put two-and-two together and got the chair back to its rightful owner.

The $8,000 motorized chair was Kim's independence because she has Cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that limits her mobility. She originally reported to police that someone took it from the home near Bragg Street and Avenue U in Sheepshead Bay.

The last 48 hours had been a struggle for Kim, who was forced to use a hand-push chair which required someone to help her. Having the motorized version back gives her full freedom. 

She was delighted to have the chair back, and thanked Barbiero with a tearful burst of gratitude and a hug. 

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