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Accessible SUV stolen from Edmonton double-amputee skier ahead of race event

Click to play video: 'SUV stolen from Edmonton double-amputee ahead of ski race' SUV stolen from Edmonton double-amputee ahead of ski race
Sun, Jan 20 - An Edmonton man training for the Canadian Birkie Ski Festival has lost thousands of dollars worth of ski equipment after his accessible SUV was stolen. As Albert Delitala reports, he's hoping the public can help him get it back – Jan 20, 2019

An Edmonton man training for the Canadian Birkie Ski Festival as a double amputee has lost thousands of dollars’ worth of ski equipment after his accessible SUV was stolen.

Jacob Wouters, 69, lost both of his legs in separate surgeries about five years ago due to poor circulation. He uses a Honda CR-V with modified hand controls to get around, but when the avid skier woke up Tuesday morning, it was gone.

“My Honda gave me independence,” Wouters told Global News ahead of his regular training at Strathcona Wilderness Centre on Sunday. “I’m not reliant on others or my significant other.”

The theft comes as Wouters trains for the Canadian Birkie Ski Festival, which runs from Feb. 8 to 10.

READ MORE: Kelowna man was allegedly selling stolen bikes online

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He had taken his sit ski out of the vehicle before it happened, but thanks to training the prior weekend, he said about $6,500 worth of ski equipment remained inside.

Wouters installs himself in his sit ski ahead of training on Sunday. He had removed the equipment from his SUV before the theft. Albert Delitala/Global News

“Isn’t there honour amongst thieves?” asked Wouters. “It’s evident — I’ve got a disabled parking spot with the placard and hand controls. You’d think they’d say, ‘Oh, this guy already has enough going against him. Let’s move on.'”

The vehicle is a 2009 Honda CR-V. It is light green with the Alberta licence plate 48-M554.

The vehicle is a light green 2009 Honda CR-V with the Alberta licence plate 48-M554. Courtesy: Jacob Wouters

Wouters said he is desperate to get his SUV back in order to fully focus on training for the sport he loves.

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“Sit skiing is the activity I do that has no sense of ‘I’m disabled’ or ‘I don’t have legs,'” Wouters said. “It’s a sport unto itself and, fortunately, for an old guy I do it quite well.”

READ MORE: Revelstoke crime spree sees snowmobile, trailer, mountain bike stolen

Wouters said that despite the loss, he still intends to enter the Birkie.

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