BIBLE HILL - His mobility already limited as a result of a childhood accident, having his scooter stolen has left Steve Weatherby with few options.
"I was a little upset," said Weatherby, who had his electric scooter stolen from his shed on Craig Drive in Bible Hill overnight Sunday. "I woke up (Monday) morning and when I looked out my window, I saw the shed doors were open. I didn't think anything of it - I just thought someone came by and dropped off bottles."
It wasn't until someone came along to help the 54-year-old before he realized his scooter - his means of transportation - was gone, along with the battery charger he purchased last summer. The scooter, blue in colour with an orange triangle flag attached to the rear, retailed for $3,000 last year.
"I thought she was joking, but she said, ‘no, it's really gone,' " said Weatherby, who lives on a disability income. "I thought, ‘now how am I going to move around?' "
At the age of five, Weatherby was in a car accident that left him with limited mobility. For the past eight years, he has relied on a wheelchair or scooter to help him in his everyday life. With arthritis settling into his hips, his scooter was an even bigger asset these days.
"I used it every day, when the weather permitted - my sunroof leaks," he said, laughing.
The scooter was Weatherby's transportation for his usual trips to Tim Hortons, the bank, the Airport Ball Fields in the summer to collect bottles, and even to take him places such as Co-op Fuels to pay his oil bill.
"I try to get out as much as possible. I get cabin fever if I'm in too long. I hate to sit still."
Over the past two days, Weatherby has had to rely on his friends and family, as well as taxis, to get him around.
His sister, Kathy MacKay, said whoever made off with the scooter stole much more from her brother.
"What the thief or thieves did, they robbed him of his independence," she said, noting she was angry and concerned for her brother when she heard his scooter was stolen. "His independence is always something he's been adamant about his whole life."
Since the theft, MacKay has been doing everything she can to get Weatherby's story out in the hopes of the scooter's return.
"I really hope and pray whoever did this comes forward and brings it back," said Weatherby.
"That's the best case scenario," added MacKay. "I really hope it wasn't somebody that knew him and knew that they were stealing from a disabled person."
Through the theft, MacKay said they are focusing on the positive, not the negative, side of things.
"The outpouring of support and the love for Steve at the same time has been very moving and very touching."
With news of the theft circulating in the community, one woman is offering her late husband's scooter to Weatherby.
"I thought it was kind of mean, what somebody did," said Gwen Little, whose husband, Wendell, passed away last December at the age of 85.
"I'm not sure - I think the scooter needs to be checked to see if it works - but if it works and is suitable for him, he's welcome to it," she said of the scooter that's been sitting in her shed since Wendell's passing.
Knowing that Little is offering the scooter is touching to Weatherby.
"It makes me feel great," he said. "I am overwhelmed and I can't believe that everyone loves me."
Along with Little's offer, local artist Rob Scott contacted MacKay on Facebook and has offered one of his signed Michael Jordan or Bobby Orr prints to help raise money to help replace Weatherby's scooter.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the scooter, or who is involved with the theft, is asked to contact the Colchester RCMP at 893-6820.