Chris Levi, 28, discovered his $3,000 custom-made wheelchair, with a Purple Heart and Army seal embroidered on the back of the seat, missing when he returned to his Mollie Boulevard home after running some errands.
“Either it shouldn’t have happened or it’s sad the fact that it had to happen,” Levi told CBS 2’s Emily Smith.
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera with Chris Levi
Levi uses the wheelchair to get from his house to his specially-equipped car. His prosthetic legs and cell phone were inside the house, so he had to crawl inside to call for help.
“I’m an infantry soldier, I’ve been in situations that were much, much worse than having to put my butt on the ground,” Levi told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.
Police believe it was stolen sometime between 5 p.m. and 5:45 p.m and appears to be grand larceny.
“There is the possibility that somebody may not have realize they were stealing the chair because it was near the curb, or it was stolen,” Suffolk County Police Lt. Det. Edward Reilly said.
WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall On The Story
Levi has been given a temporary wheelchair from the Northport Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center. He said he is eligible for a new chair but is especially attached to the Purple Heart on the chair.
“That I can never get more, unless they find it, I can’t get that back,” Levi said.
“For anybody, if they stole it maliciously for just a joy ride or just to scrap it for scrap metal, they didn’t steal just from me, they stole that Purple Heart patch from my mother,” Levi told CBS 2’s Smith.
Levi insists he is not bitter.
“My number one feeling was just pity for the person who stole it, if they stole it maliciously,” he said.
Anyone with information is being asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.
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