Thieves stole 85-year-old Surrey woman Su Zhen Luo’s wheelchair/walker. The disabled woman needed it to get around. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Elderly Surrey woman’s wheelchair/walker swiped

Su Zhen Luo, 85, suffers from a spinal injury from a fall and depended on her $254.99 stroller to get around

On the scale of human depravity, it ranks low. But for Su Zhen Luo, the theft of her wheelchair/walker combo from her Surrey home last Friday was evil enough.

Luo, 85, suffers from a spinal injury from a fall and depended on her $254.99 stroller to get around before a thief crept in through the garden gate of her daughter’s townhouse and stole it.

Daniel Blanchette, her son-in-law, is nonplussed.

“It took a lot of personal strength, character, and courage to come to our door at night and steal a hybrid stroller/wheelchair of a disabled 85-year-old woman,” he said, with contempt. “It takes courage.”

The stroller had been leaning against the wall beside the front door of the Chatham Lane townhouse where the family lives, in the 13400-block of 92nd Avenue in Whalley. Min Li, Luo’s daughter, said her mother was panicked when she discovered it had been stolen.

“She kept calling me. I thought she fell again.”

“I find it just disgusting,” Li said of the theft. The good news is, Li has since bought her mom a new wheelchair/walker and this one will be kept indoors. But still.

Asked if she contacted police, Li replied she hadn’t because police consider this type of of crime to be “petty,” and “petty crime, I don’t think the RCMP is interested.”

Blanchette echoed that sentiment, reflecting on past experiences when their Bonsais, Buddha statues and Japanese lanterns were also stolen.

“What’s the use?” Blanchette asks. “Years ago we called when the banzai was stolen, the statues were stolen, they come and they make a report. Neighbours did the same thing. Nothing ever gets done.

“Nowadays I don’t even care of calling, because I know they are overburdened.”

READ ALSO: Surrey’s top cop slams city’s budget

READ ALSO: Surrey’s new top cop doesn’t believe residents have lost faith in the RCMP

Blanchette said the neighbourhood has been plagued by theft since he and his wife moved to Surrey from Vancouver in 1997. Bicycles have been stolen from the townhouse complex, he said, as well as a neighbour’s lawnmower.

“A neighbour of ours caught one of the guys on his pickup truck trying to cut a piece of his muffler with a torch in the middle of the night.”

Luo speaks Cantonese. Li translated for her.

Luo told the Now-Leader she emigrated to Canada from Guangzhou, China in 1994. Over the years, she said, she’s felt increasingly less safe in Surrey. “She said she felt safety is not as good as before,” Li said. “She felt people were nicer before.”

“She lost sleep” after her wheelchair/walker was stolen, worrying about how to get around. “Without that, she couldn’t move.”

“She said the most angry thing for her was she put it by the door, so nicely.”

Surrey council has determined to replace the Surrey RCMP with a city-made police force. Asked if he thinks this would change things for the better, Blanchette replied with a question of his own.

“Does Toronto or Calgary have less crime because they have their city police force? I don’t know if it will be a better thing or not. Most likely more expensive, since we lose at least 10 per cent from the federal government.

“Will a municipal police force be better?” he shrugs. “I don’t know. How could less boots on the street be better?”

Blanchette said he’s written letters to city hall about problems in their neighbourhood.

“I wrote letters to Dianne Watts when she was mayor about it, to Linda Hepner about it, to the whole councillors about it. And now we just mailed one to Mayor McCallum about it. I hope a solution will be done to stop this.

“Who wants to live in a Fort Knox situation, with guard dogs?”

Security lighting on the sides of homes to deter theft don’t seem to produce the desired effect, Blanchette noted.

Surrey RCMP Constable Richard Wright told the Now-Leader that the detachment takes “all reports from the public as serious, and we investigate them thoroughly and we encourage everyone to report crimes to us when they occur.”

“I encourage the family to call us.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nearly 6,200 Langley students set to return to school June 1

School district shared COVID-19 update during board meeting

Award winning gospel singer Carolyn Arends releases COVID-inspired song

‘After This’ blends footage of Arends performance with video of residents and empty Langley streets

Langley Lodge ordered to swab all residents staff, new cases discovered

Four new cases – two residents and two staff – have been confirmed at the long-term care home

Aldergrove zoo to reopen Monday with new COVID-19 safety measures: spokesperson

June 1 reopening to be ushered in by words from Darryl Plecas, Legislative assembly Speaker

School speed limits in force in Langley

Langley RCMP are asking pedestrians and drivers to be cautious as school resumes

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Aldergrove Star to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Grieving together, but apart: How funeral homes are handling the pandemic

‘Hugs are so important and right now hugs can’t happen’

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

Most Read