Glendale man pleads not guilty to wheelchair theft

A 53-year-old Glendale man pleaded not guilty this week to charges that he allegedly knocked a man out of his wheelchair and stole it so he could use it as a prop for panhandling, police said.

Prosecutors on Tuesday charged Phillip Papineau with felony grand theft and felony petty theft with priors in connection with the theft of David Baysinger's wheelchair, according to a Los Angeles County Superior Court criminal complaint.

Papineau was arrested about 4 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of robbery at the Tropico Motel in the 400 block of West Chevy Chase Drive, where Baysinger, 57, of Glendale told officers Papineau was staying, according to Glendale police.

The wheelchair was recovered from inside a motel room, police added.

Baysinger, who can't walk and suffers from cerebral palsy, told officers Papineau demanded the wheelchair so he could use it while panhandling, police said. However, Baysinger refused to give Papineau his wheelchair.

Papineau and Baysinger are transients who are often seen together in Glendale, according to police.

When Baysinger refused to give up his wheelchair, Papineau pulled him out of it, took it and fled, police said.

Papineau later told officers that he takes care of Baysinger, who he claimed asked him to look after the wheelchair.

Papineau has a long criminal history, which includes three convictions for burglary and two petty-theft convictions, according to court records.

Papineau is scheduled to appear May 1 in Los Angeles Superior Court in Burbank.


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