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

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

Ottawa serial killer Camille Joseph Cleroux died of natural causes at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution on Sunday.
Serial killer housed at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution dies of natural causes

Camille Joseph Cleroux announced dead on Sunday, known as notorious Ottawa serial killer

A peregrine falcon nest sits atop the walls of a quarry where the owner wants to restart operations. The province has now given permission for the nest to be removed. (Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
Company gets OK to remove rare peregrine falcon nest from Abbotsford quarry

Province says it is satisfied with falcon population estimates and mitigation plans

Garry Blanchard of Hope won $77,000 correctly guessing the outcomes of all 13 games of NFL week 17. (Photo/BCLC)
Hope resident rakes in $77,000 in NFL Week 17 bet

Garry Blanchard won the record-breaking prize correctly guessing every outcome that week

This urn was found Jan. 4 at a Yale Road bus stop and has now been returned to its owner. (RCMP photo)
RCMP find custodian of urn that was left at Chilliwack bus stop

Police say the urn contained the remains of a family’s cat

Sexual offender Taylor Dueck has pleaded guilty to another charge after previously serving a three years and seven months in prison.
Sex offender with violent history pleads guilty to another charge

Taylor Dueck of Abbotsford/Mission was the subject of prior police warnings

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A child joins the Uke ‘n Play kickoff event at the Chilliwack Library on Oct. 1, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Events return, in virtual form, at Fraser Valley Regional Library

People can take part in ukulele jam, bullet journaling, reading groups and more

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

People wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 walk past a window display at a store in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, December 13, 2020. The association representing businesses across Metro Vancouver says the costs of COVID-19 continue to mount for its members.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Greater Vancouver business organization says members face uncertain outlook in 2021

Many Greater Vancouver businesses are barely treading water as they enter 2021

A handgun seized by Surrey RCMP. (Photo: Police handout)
Crime Stoppers received 500+ tips about Metro Vancouver guns, gang activity in 2020: report

Metro Vancouver organization ‘urging local residents to keep providing anonymous tips’

Most Read