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Man Who Found Stolen Wheelchair Speaks Out

Facebook Posts Led To It Being Returned To Vinny Pinello, Who Has Cerebral Palsy
Vinny Pinello (Photo: Sophia Hall, WCBS 880)

Vinny Pinello (Photo: Sophia Hall, WCBS 880)

FLOWER HILL, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - A Long Island man who found a wheelchair that was stolen from a man with celebral palsy spoke out Wednesday.

Police charged two 14-year-old boys with stealing the motorized wheelchair from a home under renovation in the Flower Hill section of Roslyn at around 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Facebook posts led to their arrests, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.

Fausto Pugliese found Vinnie Pinello’s wheelchair over the weekend and it was returned on Tuesday.

Pugliese told Hall he spotted the wheelchair around 6 a.m. in the middle of the street in front of his Flower Hill home.

“I feel I was like an angel watching because I was sitting there watching it in in front of my house the whole time and waiting for someone to pick it up,” he told Hall. “Then I saw somebody trying to take it and I said, ‘Is that yours?’ and the guy is like ‘No. I thought someone had thrown it out.’ and I said ‘No. No. No. The guy’s coming back.’ Then they went over there and they dragged it, cause the thing weighs like 350 pounds, and put it in my garage for safekeeping.”

Then when Pugliese’s son came home and was talking about the two boys arrested for stealing the wheelchair, Pugliese called the police and soon the wheelchair was returned.

“He was happy. He was so happy,” Vinnie’s mother Carmela said.

The chair had a broken handle bar but was still in working condition.

The teens have been charged with third-degree burglary and third-degree grand larceny.

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