Thief steals child's wheelchair; shocked community gets her a new one

Thief steals child's wheelchair; shocked community gets her a new one
Jocelyn Ordonez, 4, tries out her new wheelchair. (Christina House / For The Times)

When thieves stole a wheelchair from a 4-year-old girl with Down syndrome, residents in Corona were stunned.

On Monday, those touched by the child's loss did something about it.


They got her a new one.

Jocelyn Ordonez’s wheelchair was stolen from the front porch of her family’s home in this Riverside County city sometime between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

"The family didn't hear or see anything,"  Sgt. Brent Nelson said. "They woke up in the morning to the chair being gone."

The Kid Cart Xpress wheelchair, which makes chairs and stroller for special needs children, starts out at $2,300.

But on Monday afternoon, the family was surprised again – this time with a brand-new replacement for Jocelyn, thanks to some help from San Diego Down Syndrome.

Police said they were impressed with how quickly the community embraced the young girl.

"We want to thank our entire community for taking a tragic event and making it a special Christmas for this family," police said in a statement posted on the department's Facebook account.

Jocelyn relies on a wheelchair for mobility and can't attend school without one, officials said.

The family stored the wheelchair — which typically requires two people to carry — on the front porch and tethered it to a railing, Nelson said.

In place of the wheelchair, the family had to push Jocelyn in an ill-fitting stroller.

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