2 teens caught on video stealing disabled boy’s wheelchair in New Jersey

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LEONIA, N.J. -- Police are looking for two teenagers who were caught on surveillance video stealing a wheelchair from a disabled 14-year-old boy.

The video shows an Asian teenager and a Hispanic teenager peering around and walking into an apartment building lobby on Broad Street in Leonia.

Then one sits down in the motorized wheelchair and drives away. The chair was parked just outside the building’s front door and belonged to a 14-year-old boy with cerebral palsy.

“It’s everything. He can’t walk on his own. I mean what person sees a wheelchair and decides - I need to have that, more than the person who needs it,” said a clearly angry Leonia Police Chief Thomas Rowe. "I mean that’s ultimate greed, callousness. There are other words I’d like to say, but I can’t on TV.”

The motorized wheelchair cost an estimated $12,000.

"I think the wheelchair is maybe a couple of months old,” said Peter Colletto, a neighbor to the family. “And he was supposed to be going to this camp on Long Island, out to the Hamptons. And they were really excited about that because it was supposed to bring some new things, some new experiences to the kid, some new ideas that he would get involved in. And now probably, that’s not gonna happen.”

Police need help identifying the teens, and there’s a $1,000 reward.

The Hispanic teen shown on the video is estimated to be in his late teens, approximately 5’6 and 150 pounds. He has dark hair and was wearing a white Adidas shirt, black and white shorts, black sneakers and black socks. He was carrying a black leather backpack.

The Asian teen police are seeking is 5’6 or 5’7 and 140 pounds. He was wearing a black and white striped shirt, black shorts and black sandals.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Leonia Police Department at 201-944-0800 or you can e-mail tips@leoniapd.org.

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