UPDATE: Donation replaces stolen scooter for Abbotsford Korean War vet

Mobility aid stolen from 83-year-old veteran just days before Remembrance Day

Bert Wiebe tries out his new scooter

The community has rallied in support of Korean War veteran Bert Wiebe, whose mobility scooter was stolen from him just days before Remembrance Day.

Four days after a con man made off with his scooter, Wiebe, 83, received a set of new wheels Tuesday that were donated by a local company.

Wiebe served for more than a decade in the Canadian Forces, and the morning of the theft had spoken to The News about his life in the military, including the battle for Hill 355 in Korea.

Prior to the interview, Bert Wiebe met a man who called himself ‘Kevin,’ who said he could fix a broken headlight on his scooter. When he returned to the Legion, Kevin was waiting for the decorated veteran.

Wiebe retrieved the key for the man, and left to have a cigarette while the man did the work he had promised. When Wiebe returned, the scooter and the man named Kevin were gone.

“I was very, very upset,” said Wiebe, who can only walk a block with the help of a walker.

Margaret Vines, the Royal Canadian Legion’s ways and means officer, said the thief betrayed the trust of a man who desperately needs his scooter.

“He’s a vet, he’s disabled and he needs to have something to get around and have something of a social life,” Vines said. “I think it’s a pretty low thing to do to anybody.”

Abbotsford Police Const. Paul Walker commented, “You have a veteran who’s given a lot to our country and uses a scooter for mobility purposes, and to have someone taking advantage of that is pretty deplorable.”

But hours after the theft was made public, the APD was flooded with calls by people from around the province who wanted to help.

“The public has been fantastic,” said John Sorensen, the Legion’s Sergeant-At-Arms.

By this afternoon, Wiebe received a brand-new scooter donated by Chris Kehler and Coast Bathing Solutions.

 

 

“I’m overwhelmed. I’m very grateful,” said Wiebe, adding that he was glad to live in such a generous community.

Kehler said his company, which makes walk-in bathtubs for people with mobility impairments, had an extra scooter in its inventory. As soon as he heard of Wiebe’s predicament, he and the staff decided to donate the device.

“I could tell just from the smile on his face that it meant a lot,” said Kehler.It’s something that he needs to be able to get around on a daily basis. It’s not a want, it’s a need.”

Police have received images of a man they suspect is “Kevin” examining a scooter outside the Legion, provided by a nearby business’ security camera.

“We’re appealing to the public for leads on him,” said Walker. “We’d like to identify Kevin, speak with him, and hopefully it’ll lead to an arrest at some point for this stolen scooter.”

The con man is described as 5’8”, of medium build with short brown hair. He may be in his 40s or late 30s.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Abbotsford Police at 604-859-5225, text police at 222973 or call Crime Stoppers at or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Below: an image from a security camera beside the Legion, shortly before the theft. Police suspect the pictured man may have stolen Wiebe’s scooter.

 

Just Posted

Man initially charged with 66 offences found guilty of seven, still on trial for 10 more

Corey Perkins was arrested and charged in Abbotsford in May 2016

Barnful of ducks die in early morning blaze

The cause of the fire is unknown

Consultation wanted before mental health patients move near schools

  • No evidence Fraser Health patients are to blame for increase in crime

Lou’s Grill close to reopening after devastating 2016 fire

Popular restaurant was gutted in an accidental fire

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

VIDEO: B.C. superfans soak in 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Trio, including two from the Okanagan, have been cheering on Summerland Olympian Kripps among others in Korea

More snow expected on the Coquihalla, Highway 3

Environment Canada says five to 10 centimetres will come down between Friday and Saturday mornings

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

Lane closures on Alex Fraser, Port Mann bridges considered to avoid ‘ice bombs’

Province spent $5 million clearing both bridges last years

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Most Read