Teenager left without a wheelchair after thieves steal Northampton family's car during break-in
A family has spoken of their despair after a child's wheelchair was stolen in a break-in in Northampton, along with phones, money and a family car.
Police were called to a house in Kentstone Close, Northampton, on Sunday morning after a family was burgled while they slept.
But the Wood family was devastated to find the thieves had stolen their car - taking their disabled daughter's wheelchair in the backseat with it.
"Why did that have to do it?" said Clare Wood, 44. "They already had all of our phones and bank cards. Why did they take the car too? Did they realise the chair was in the back?"
Clare's daughter, Katie, aged 14, has Sotos syndrome, a rare genetic disease which causes rapid physical growth for the first two to three years from birth. It means she must use a wheelchair outside of the house and is partially deaf in one ear.
"She's been so upset since it happened," Clare said. "She hasn't slept well. Her sister has had nightmares too and think they will come back.
"Katie got up on Sunday about 7.30am. She couldn't find her phone anywhere. When her dad and I came downstairs we noticed the conservatory door was slightly open.
"Then we found the contents of my younger daughter's school bag laid out outside in the garden - her pencil case, her lunch box, her empty purse - all in a line. We knew we didn't do that.
"Then I saw my handbag was gone, and my partner's wallet and our phones.
"It wasn't until we went to open the front door we found the car keys were gone too. They had taken the car, with Katie's wheelchair in the back.
"We were in shock. It was just so scary to think they had been in our house while we all slept upstairs. They've taken everything - even the gift cards I got for Christmas."
Since the break-in, Katie has had trouble leaving the house, and can only move around in her home and at her school.
But their friends and family have come together to help the family following the burglary and Clare received overwhelming support from the Kingsthorpe community on Facebook.
Clare said: "I want to say thank you to all of our friends and family. Our everyday life has been devastated but we've had so much help. Friends have taken Katie to school in the morning and my dad has helped us with shopping. Without their support we could not have coped these past few days."
Witnesses or anyone with information about this incident can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 111 555.