Bognor scooter theft saga

David Hubbard, of Keith Jay Care Centre, with scooter owner Mr Cross
David Hubbard, of Keith Jay Care Centre, with scooter owner Mr Cross

A mobility company, which stepped in to help after a battery was stolen from a disability scooter in Bognor Regis, has ended up aiding the arrest of a suspect.

Keith Jay Care Centre saw a Facebook post online appealing for help after the theft on February 16.

Police confirmed the incident, at the eastern end of Marine Park Gardens in Marine Drive West, occurred when the scooter’s 68-year-old owner, Mr Cross, had been forced to leave the vehicle temporarily unattended after it sustained a punctured tyre.

“During this time, between 10am and 1.30pm, a thief removed the battery, worth almost £200,” officers stated.

Roz Boylin, a manager at Keith Jay, said: “One of the guys saw the post about the theft, I thought what a shame it was and that it has probably taken someone’s independence away.”

Mr Cross’ wife Susan said: “Because of his stroke he is paralysed down one side, without that scooter life is very difficult for him.

“My daughter put something on Facebook and Keith Jay offered to help us. We couldn’t believe it.

“It made us think there are some nice people out there - you usually only hear about the bad ones. It is done and dusted and back on the road so he can get one with his life normally again, as much as he can.”

While the work was being undertaken at Keith Jay, Roz reveals a man approached the company trying to sell a battery.

Staff, aware the two incidents could be linked, then set about notifying the police.

Mrs Cross said it was left with the company overnight, under the guise they would look to charge it and the man could return the next morning.

Police confirm a 26-year-old man was then arrested on suspicion of theft and has since been released without charge.

Mrs Cross said while ‘it is a good result’ she feels sorry for the individual who took the battery.

“I do always flip it around and think they must be desperate to have taken it, but it is a good result,” she said. “We didn’t think we would hear any more, but luckily he was a bit silly.”

Anyone who may have information regarding the scooter should email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101, quoting 714 of 16/02.