Wheelchair stolen from Blue Island mother of teen with disabilities returned

Stolen car found with damage, mother said

ByEvelyn Holmes and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Stolen wheelchair for suburban teen with disabilities returned
Blue Island police returned the medical equipment stolen from the mother of a teen with disabilities, Aidan Rodriguez.

BLUE ISLAND, Ill. (WLS) -- It was a special delivery that moved Alicia Rodriguez to tears.

"I'm just overwhelmed. I didn't think there were good people out there," Rodriguez said.

On Tuesday morning, Blue Island's police chief, along with some of his officers and detectives, returned a custom wheelchair and car seat used by Rodriguez's developmentally disabled son. They were taken when thieves stole her car over a week ago.

"It is unbelievable, despicable what's happening today. So, we put a lot of man hours on this," said Blue Island Police Chief Geoffery Farr.

Tuesday's delivery also included a bag of other medical supplies 15-year-old Aiden Beltran, who has cerebral palsy and DiGeorge syndrome, desperately needs.

RELATED: Blue Island family's car found after stolen with wheelchair for teen with cerebral palsy inside

The single parent said she never expected to get back the medical equipment, which is worth thousands of dollars. The items were recovered after a GoFundMe page was setup to replace the equipment.

"It means a lot knowing that there are good people out there. They have big hearts," Rodriguez said.

Security video for the family's doorbell camera captured thieves stealing Rodriguez's 2019 black Hyundai Elantra from in front of her suburban home with the equipment inside on March 19.

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.

Investigators said they'd been tracking the cars movements through other suburbs. They caught a break when Chicago police found the damaged, and now un-drivable vehicle dumped in the city.

"A day like this usually isn't too happy, or starts on a good note, so I take what I can every day, and today is one of those good days," said Blue Island Police Detective Nancy Bailey.

A Good Samaritan has offered to fix Rodriguez's car, if it can be repaired.

Alicia hopes to get her repaired car back in the next few weeks. In the meantime, Blue Island police said they are continuing to work the case and hope to make an arrest soon.