Thieves in Wheelchairs
RE: Disabled Larceny

FROM: Dr. Phage


Remember, there are those crips who have gone beyond picketing to regular larceny. A few years ago, I ran into a Swedish report about the notorious rullstols tjuvar, wheelchair thieves. This was a group of crip burglars who rolled into the bottom floors of apartment buildings and rifled the storage lockers. The police were able to find them, of course, by following their wheelchair tracks in the snow. I thought this was a uniquely Swedish phenomenon, until I came upon the news story below --- from my old stamping ground, in fact:

    STAMFORD -- The man who police say rolled into a Stamford jewelers in a wheelchair in August and then ran out with a Rolex, macing a store clerk and knocking down a security guard on the way, was picked up by New Rochelle, N.Y. police Friday during a domestic disturbance in that city.

    Capt. Richard Conklin said the man, Larry Johnson, 37, of MOUNT VERNON, N.Y., is being held in lieu of a $350,000 court appearance bond for the Stamford robbery as a fugitive from justice and is awaiting extradition, which could take months to complete.

    Conklin said Johnson, who has about 20 criminal convictions in New York for a variety of crimes, including assault on a police officer and sexual assault, was picked up sometime Friday night by New Rochelle police after they were dispatched to a domestic disturbance.

The time has obviously come for ADAPT to get to work on demanding ADA accessibility provisions in the penal system. We need assistive listening devices in court; cell-block numbers in Braille; grab bars among the jail bars; ramps in the prison corridors; and, for death penalty cases, we want the electric chair to be equipped with carry pockets on the backrest, swing-away footrests, and quick release wheels.

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