News and Tribune

January 12, 2010

Woman pleads for thief to return patio furniture

Stolen items were Christmas gifts for disabled New Albany woman

The red bows were still on her patio furniture, a Christmas gift from her family.

The 59-year-old woman, who is wheelchair-bound from a degenerative bone disease, said she was thrilled at the prospect of using the furniture this spring. She said her husband built her front porch, and her family purchased a wicker loveseat made with PVC and a table.

“It means so much for me just to be able to get out on the front porch,” she said.

Between 2 and 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, Carolyn heard her dog growling and she looked out the window of her house which sits on the 100 block of Greenbriar Drive, in New Albany. She said she saw a white male loading her furniture, which she says costs more than $600, onto a dark pickup truck and drive off.

Due to her bone condition, she could not move close enough in time to find any other information about the suspect. She was so frightened that she did not call the police until the next day.

Carolyn asked that her last name not be published due to safety concerns.

“This neighborhood has just been riddled with break-ins,” she said.

Carolyn said her neighbor is also disabled and has had furniture stolen from his house. He purchased a handgun to protect himself, she said.

“We may be in wheelchairs, but we’re not going to sit here and do nothing. They’ll eventually be caught,” she said.

She is offering a cash reward for any information that leads to the recovery of the furniture.

New Albany Police Department Capt. Keith Whitlow said the items were reported stolen, and the theft is under investigation.

Carolyn said, if someone returns the furniture, she will not report them. She only asks that it be returned.

Carolyn has needed three surgeries in less than a year and will soon have a fourth.

“It has been very difficult,” he said. “I was really looking forward to sitting out on the front porch this spring.”