Erinroad resident Verna McNally sits in her home, unable to go outdoors. McNally is diabetic. Her husbands Jeep was recently stolen from outside their residence, with her wheel chair in the back. Sunday, June 24.
Credits: BRENDAN MILLER/QMI AGENCY
CALGARY -- It's not the Jeep stolen from his southeast Calgary home that keeps Mike Labrash and common-law wife Verna McNally awake at night -- it's what was inside.
The crook who helped himself to Mike's wheels a few days back ended up stealing more wheels than he likely intended.
Verna's wheelchair was in the back.
"I'm at a loss here," Labrash said. "She can go maybe 15 steps with the walker, then she's got to sit down ... her legs have swollen up to the point where they won't support her body anymore."
A thief swiped his Jeep on June 22 from outside his home on Erin Rd. S.E.
Labrash went to bed about 2 a.m., and when his stepson went to work about 5 a.m., the Jeep was gone.
Labrash, 52, said his wife, 62, needs that wheelchair in a bad way -- she's in the later stages of diabetes, needs a steady supply of insulin and has no easy way of getting to her appointments.
McNally said she's upset about the ordeal.
"I could be better," she said. "I can't go around ... I'm trapped inside.
"(And) this is an expensive wheelchair."
Losing the Jeep is no big thing -- it's insured, Mike said, but that wheelchair was not.
"I'm actually hoping someone has the heart to drop the wheelchair back in front of the house," he said.
Police Insp. Craig Skelton called the theft very unfortunate.
He said it's likely whoever stole the vehicle didn't consider what was in the back -- a wheelchair is, of course, important to the person who's lost it but doesn't hold a lot of value to a thief.
Skelton isn't holding out hope the wheelchair will be returned by the crook.
"I have not experienced it," Skelton said. "That's not to say that it hasn't happened (but) it doesn't happen often."
Also inside the Jeep when it was stolen was Mike's wallet containing all of his identification, which makes vehicle rentals -- even a wheelchair rental -- very difficult.
Tuesday, Labrash's wife will need to re-up her insulin and Labrash is working out how that's going to get handled.
"I'll find a way," Labrash said.