Senior Gets Freedom Back After Theft
A Toronto senior citizen has been given his freedom of mobility back after 14 Division officers helped replace his scooter that was stolen from outside his apartment while he slept.
After 79-year-old Yousef Feiz reported the theft, Detective Constable Diana Vigna began collecting video and evidence.
Images of the suspect were located and shared with road officers to try and identify the offender and locate the stolen property.
The search was unsuccessful and officers later learned that the man was not eligible for government assistance to get another scooter.
Frustrated with not being able to help the victim, Neighbourhood Community Officers (NCOs), Constables Scott Surridge and Gabriel Kuok, contacted community partners to see if they could find a replacement.
“We even posted on social media accounts to try and seek out assistance in finding an organization that might be able to help,” said Kuok, who is assigned to the Kensington-Chinatown neighbourhood. “Also, a number of messages were sent to officers with programs that might be able to help.”
A few days later, a member of the public reached out to police after seeing the social posts, saying he had a scooter that his late father used sitting in their garage for the last three years and would love to donate it to the victim.
“We made contact with the potential donor and made arrangements to pick it up the next day,” Kuok said. “Mr. Feiz was over the moon with joy when officers told him about the donation as were the investigator.”
But officers faced another bump in the road after it was discovered by the donor that the scooter batteries were not holding a charge.
The NCO officers still picked up the scooter and contacted several shops and government assistance programs to try to source new batteries.
When the search proved unsuccessful, NCO Sergeant Jeffrey Zammit stepped in with his own money and purchased batteries for $350.
Kuok and Surridge charged the batteries and installed them.
“We then tested it to make sure it was in top shape before presenting it to the victim,” said Surridge. “He was extremely grateful and truly appreciative of the donation and the help we provided. Without a scooter, he was unable to travel outside his apartment. Now, he is independent again and can take care of his own needs.”
Superintendent Domenic Sinopoli thanked his officers for going above and beyond to help the elderly man.
“This is a testament to the NCO program and I am extremely proud of the dedication officers have to the community they serve.”
Neighbourhood Community Officers are assigned to neighbourhoods for four years, working to form community partnerships, respond to crime and disorder issues and build trust in their communities.
Visit the My Neighbourhood section to find your local officers.