UPDATE (6/7) – The wheelchair has been returned to Norris after what police are calling a misunderstanding. Read more here.
MALDEN (CBS) – A man living with cerebral palsy had his motorized wheelchair stolen right from his front door. The wheelchair is not only costly but it is the only way he can get around. The victim is hoping the person who took it will have a change of heart.READ MORE: Rally-Goers March In Copley Square, Calling For Peace In The Middle East
James Norris doesn’t want pity, but found frustration at the bottom of his front steps.
“Let’s face it, somebody by doing this, they took my legs,” Norris said.
He’s talking about his motorized wheelchair, worth $1,000 stolen Wednesday morning from his Malden home.
The chair weighs more than 250 pounds and James lives on the second floor, so he stores it next to the stairs under a tarp, secured only by a bungee cord.
The 32-year-old with cerebral palsy is Mr. Positive and is the driving force behind a series of online videos designed to motivate and inspire others to push past their disabilities through fitness.
“I still wanted to show people that no matter what your challenge, you can overcome it,” said Norris.READ MORE: 2 Removed From Water After Dive Team Called To Search For Teens In Brockton Park
Steve Williams helped James hone his media skills and says the theft derails his former student’s outreach effort.
“I was really upset,” Williams said. “Now he’s handcuffed because he has no way to get around.”
A Miami fitness buff has already started a GoFundMe page to replace the uninsured chair, but James says he simply wants to warn others.
A neighbor saw a white pickup truck out front and police are still hunting nearby surveillance cameras that might’ve caught it.
“I just hope whoever took it, that they needed it more than I do,” said Norris.
That’s unlikely, of course as police suspect it’ll be sold for drug money.
“You know what I hate to say it, they’ll go pretty dang low,” Norris said.MORE NEWS: Needham Students Get COVID Shot At Student Vaccination Clinics
But it won’t beat him. James just took part in his first charity walk and plans to push on with his videos, because climbing through adversity is nothing new.