Thieves stole 85-year-old Surrey woman Su Zhen Luo’s wheelchair/walker. The disabled woman needed it to get around. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Elderly Surrey woman’s wheelchair/walker swiped

Su Zhen Luo, 85, suffers from a spinal injury from a fall and depended on her $254.99 stroller to get around

On the scale of human depravity, it ranks low. But for Su Zhen Luo, the theft of her wheelchair/walker combo from her Surrey home last Friday was evil enough.

Luo, 85, suffers from a spinal injury from a fall and depended on her $254.99 stroller to get around before a thief crept in through the garden gate of her daughter’s townhouse and stole it.

Daniel Blanchette, her son-in-law, is nonplussed.

“It took a lot of personal strength, character, and courage to come to our door at night and steal a hybrid stroller/wheelchair of a disabled 85-year-old woman,” he said, with contempt. “It takes courage.”

The stroller had been leaning against the wall beside the front door of the Chatham Lane townhouse where the family lives, in the 13400-block of 92nd Avenue in Whalley. Min Li, Luo’s daughter, said her mother was panicked when she discovered it had been stolen.

“She kept calling me. I thought she fell again.”

“I find it just disgusting,” Li said of the theft. The good news is, Li has since bought her mom a new wheelchair/walker and this one will be kept indoors. But still.

Asked if she contacted police, Li replied she hadn’t because police consider this type of of crime to be “petty,” and “petty crime, I don’t think the RCMP is interested.”

Blanchette echoed that sentiment, reflecting on past experiences when their Bonsais, Buddha statues and Japanese lanterns were also stolen.

“What’s the use?” Blanchette asks. “Years ago we called when the banzai was stolen, the statues were stolen, they come and they make a report. Neighbours did the same thing. Nothing ever gets done.

“Nowadays I don’t even care of calling, because I know they are overburdened.”

READ ALSO: Surrey’s top cop slams city’s budget

READ ALSO: Surrey’s new top cop doesn’t believe residents have lost faith in the RCMP

Blanchette said the neighbourhood has been plagued by theft since he and his wife moved to Surrey from Vancouver in 1997. Bicycles have been stolen from the townhouse complex, he said, as well as a neighbour’s lawnmower.

“A neighbour of ours caught one of the guys on his pickup truck trying to cut a piece of his muffler with a torch in the middle of the night.”

Luo speaks Cantonese. Li translated for her.

Luo told the Now-Leader she emigrated to Canada from Guangzhou, China in 1994. Over the years, she said, she’s felt increasingly less safe in Surrey. “She said she felt safety is not as good as before,” Li said. “She felt people were nicer before.”

“She lost sleep” after her wheelchair/walker was stolen, worrying about how to get around. “Without that, she couldn’t move.”

“She said the most angry thing for her was she put it by the door, so nicely.”

Surrey council has determined to replace the Surrey RCMP with a city-made police force. Asked if he thinks this would change things for the better, Blanchette replied with a question of his own.

“Does Toronto or Calgary have less crime because they have their city police force? I don’t know if it will be a better thing or not. Most likely more expensive, since we lose at least 10 per cent from the federal government.

“Will a municipal police force be better?” he shrugs. “I don’t know. How could less boots on the street be better?”

Blanchette said he’s written letters to city hall about problems in their neighbourhood.

“I wrote letters to Dianne Watts when she was mayor about it, to Linda Hepner about it, to the whole councillors about it. And now we just mailed one to Mayor McCallum about it. I hope a solution will be done to stop this.

“Who wants to live in a Fort Knox situation, with guard dogs?”

Security lighting on the sides of homes to deter theft don’t seem to produce the desired effect, Blanchette noted.

Surrey RCMP Constable Richard Wright told the Now-Leader that the detachment takes “all reports from the public as serious, and we investigate them thoroughly and we encourage everyone to report crimes to us when they occur.”

“I encourage the family to call us.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mission Mayor Pam Alexis to run for the NDP

Will take on Liberal Simon Gibson in the Abbotsford-Mission riding

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

MEDICAL MOMENTS: Dr. Andrew Edelson has served Mission for more than 45 years

Why Mission? ‘Mostly because it’s such a wonderful community,’ he says

BC launches 22 new primary care networks, including one in Mission

Will be adding family physicians, a nurse practitioner and a social worker

Missing Chilliwack woman last seen on Wednesday

Friends and family concerned for Joy-Lynn Leon, 42, who was last seen Sept. 23 on Mary Street

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read