Thief steals wheelchair from elderly Port Orchard woman

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. -- A brazen thief took an elderly Port Orchard woman's mobility when he stole her wheelchair, but the story has a happy ending thanks to a local police officer.

Pauline Williams puts her trust in only a few people.

"That's my main thing, is trust, because I have been really badly burnt a few times," she said.

That attitude is understandable, especially after the events of last weekend. The 77-year old woke up from a nap on Sunday and discovered that someone had walked right into her house and stole her wheelchair. Williams suffers from a condition that makes it too painful to walk most days, so the crime was especially heinous.

Williams is a tough woman, and the theft made her furious.

"I was to the point where it's a good thing where I didn't have any idea who it was because I would have hunted him down, kicked the crap out of him," she said.

When Williams called the police to file a report, officer Donna Main was assigned the case. The problem was there were no witnesses, no description of the thief and likely no chance of getting the chair back.

"Well, I knew that I didn't have anything to go on," Main said.

Main came up with a plan b. She went to the nearby St. Vincent de Paul thrift store and told the store manager about what had happened to Williams. The manager immediately donated a wheelchair.

"So it was probably within an hour that I think we had it delivered, and now the case was officially closed," Main said.

Just like that, Williams had her mobility back, and it was all because an officer did the unexpected. Williams also said she can now add one more person to her small circle of trust.

Wheelchairs can cost around $85 to $100, and Williams said her insurance was only going to pay a portion of the cost, so the donation was a tremendous help.