Stolen modified car and Paralympic-calibre wheelchair found in Calgary
A stolen modified wheelchair and car were recovered on Tuesday after Calgary police found the car abandoned in the central community of Crescent Heights.
The car and wheelchair were stolen from a parkade in the Inglewood Park S.E. area sometime between 10 p.m. on June 15 and 8:30 a.m. on June 16, police said.
Police say the owner has been reunited with his car and wheelchair after an area pastor saw the vehicle and recognized.
“I found out this morning around 10:30,” owner Dalten Campbell told Global News. “The constable gave me a call, told me that he had recovered my vehicle outside of a Crescent Heights church.
“A pastor had actually found it, recognized it from some of the reporting that had happened, parked his car in front of it so that if anybody were to come back and try take it they’d be out of luck, and the constable called me right away. I was booting over there as fast as my wheels could take me, man.”
The wheelchair is of particular value to the owner, Dalten Campbell, because it’s specially designed for Paralympic-calibre wheelchair basketball.
Campbell is set to try out for Canada’s National Paralympic basketball team at a camp in Ontario in late July, but said he can’t play elite basketball without his specialized wheelchair and it would take months to get a new one.
Campbell was overjoyed when he was reunited with his basketball wheelchair.
“Aw, dude, you have no idea, man! I had a nice little conversation with it. I gave it a hug, you know what I mean. I whispered a couple of sweet nothings into its ear. I’m just so grateful.
“I’m so happy to have it back and I’m just so excited to be able to go out to Toronto later in the month and to really give it my all.”
On Monday, Campbell thought his hopes of making the national basketball team were dashed.
“It’s just absolutely the worst timing I could imagine — devastating for me,” Campbell said on Monday. “The identification camp is really my best opportunity to show the coaches at Wheelchair Basketball Canada that I have what it takes to vie for a spot on the team.”
But on Tuesday, Campbell’s faith in humanity was restored.
“Absolutely. I just can’t thank the people out there enough, that shared my story or really just put the word out there that helped me out. Because without you, the car and the chair definitely would still be gone. And I’d be hooped for the camp coming up. I’m just so happy to have it back.”
The chair was customized for Campbell, built specifically for his body.
“It’s my baby. My basketball wheelchair is the joy of my life, that’s all I do.”
The 2006 Dodge Magnum R/T has a special lever that disables the brakes and gas pedals near the steering wheel, police said.
“Both the vehicle and the wheelchair have specialized modifications to allow the owner to operate them,” police said.
Calgary police say the investigation is ongoing, and thank the public for the assistance.
With files from Kevin Smith
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