A Dundee pensioner has been left housebound after cruel yobs stole the wheels of his mobility scooter in a suspected “racist prank”.
Michael Simon, 77, is originally from Curacao in the Caribbean and now lives in Douglas with his wife Catherine, 69.
Due to arthritis, the former jute mill worker is unable to walk unaided and uses a mobility scooter, which he stores in the close of his block of flats in Balmullo Square.
On Sunday morning, Catherine was leaving for the shops when she noticed the back wheels of the scooter had been stolen.
She said: “Michael is very upset – we both are. I’m just shocked that someone would do this.
“He is now totally house-bound, as he can’t walk very far without the mobility scooter due to his arthritis. I haven’t the faintest idea why anyone would want to steal just the wheels, rather than the whole scooter.
“It would have required quite a bit of effort and specialist tools, as the wheels can’t just be taken off with your bare hands – when we had them put in we had to call a specialist fitter.
“It could be a prank, in which case it is a very nasty one. We think it might be racist thing, as Michael is from Curacao.
“This is the last thing you need when you’re just trying to enjoy your retirement in peace.”
Catherine explained that even if the wheels are retrieved, it would cost £200 to have them re-installed.
A replacement scooter would set them back around £500, which the couple cannot afford.
Catherine added: “It looks like Michael will just have to rely on crutches.
“He doesn’t get out much anyway, but at least the mobility scooter gave him the option.
“He’d only had the scooter for around a year and we didn’t expect something like this.
“We’ve been living in this street since 2000 and we’ve never had any problems before.”
Catherine said she has reported the theft to police and is waiting to hear back.
No one at Police Scotland was available to comment.