A pensioner who suffers from severe arthritis has been left devastated after burglars stole two mobility scooters from her home.
78-year-old Ruth Steel woke on Monday morning two find the scooters had been taken from her garage overnight.
One of the vehicles was only six days old.
Miss Steel told the Express: “I was just so shocked and upset, I couldn’t believe it. I had to go back into the garage to have another look and check I wasn’t going potty.
“I had been so excited when my new scooter was delivered, I had been waiting for it for months.
“And the other scooter was a smaller one that could be folded and put in a car - I used it when my nieces used to take me to the seaside for the day.”
Miss Steel, who has lived in Hemel all her life, used to work at The Rex cinema in Berkhamsted, rising from usher and ice cream girl to stand-in manager.
And the pensioner, who lives alone in Cemetery Hill, added: “I just feel drained. It’s hard to believe that someone would do this?
“I would be housebound if it wasn’t for Meadow Mobility, the company who service my old mobility scooter, offering to loan me one.
“But it’s been hard to sleep at night. There must have been more than one of them, crawling around in my garden while I was asleep, and breaking in to steal the scooter.”
Miss Steel’s friend Karen Paterson emphasised how much of a difference the scooter’s make to her life.
She said: “Because of her arthritis Ruth struggles to get to the bottom of the her garden without the scooters, nevermind to the end of the street.
“She doesn’t have any children, and although I see her regularly and her niece and god-daughter live in Hemel too, these thieves don’t realise how cruel they’ve been.
“They haven’t just taken both scooters, they’ve also taken all the equipment for charging the machines and so on.
“It’s disgusting to think that anyone would be so cruel.”
Herts Police are now investigating the theft and have appealed for witnesses or anyone who has information to contact them on the non-emergency number 101.
Alternatively call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.