Video captures suspect stealing car, wheelchair for teen with cerebral palsy, Blue Island mom says

Eric Horng Image
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Suspect steals car, wheelchair for disabled teen, mom says: VIDEO
A Ring doorbell video shows a suspect stealing a car containing a wheelchair for a teen who has cerebral palsy and DiGeorge syndrome, his mom said.

BLUE ISLAND, Ill. (WLS) -- Shattered glass remained on the ground at the very spot Alicia Rodriguez said her car was stolen in Blue Island.

But, what was inside is even more precious. Her son, who has developmental disabilities, had his specially-made wheelchair and car seat inside of it. Her doorbell camera captured the suspect's escape.

"What the heck! Why me? Why would they do that knowing that they are a handicap sign out there?" Rodriguez said.

Maneuvering through life can sometimes come with its challenges. And, for Rodriguez, she has needed all the help she could get while caring for her 15-year-old son, Aidan Beltran, who has developmental disabilities, including cerebral palsy and DiGeorge syndrome.

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"My mother had passed three years ago, so she was my help, and I don't have nothing right now," Rodriguez said. "He's like a baby. He has 24/7 care. I have to do everything. He's in diapers. He could walk, but he needed assistance."

That much-needed assistance was stolen in the night, along with her car.

"I have his wheelchair in there. I need his special car seat. That vehicle is for transportation for him. He's constantly in the hospital, in and out," Rodriguez said.

Police said it was stolen just after 9 p.m. Sunday.

In the right corner of a doorbell video, you can see the moment when, Rodriguez said, the suspect drove her 2019 black Hyundai Elantra away. Shattered glass greeted the mom in the morning.

"I went to go get his wheelchair, to get ready for school, and it was gone," Rodriguez said.

Now, she's left hoping she could get her son's equipment back or, she said, she'll be out of tens of thousands of dollars.

"I'm struggling here. Why would they take it?" Rodriguez said.

Police said they're still searching for the suspect and the stolen car. A family member started a GoFundMe for Rodriguez and her son.