UPDATE: Malden police said a motorized wheelchair that was reported stolen has been located after a local said they thought it was scrap metal.
The chair has since been returned to James Norris, who said he's figuring out what to do with the money fundraised through GoFundMe. He said he will likely return the money to donors if they want it back, or he will donate it.
Earlier story below:
Police say someone stole a motorized wheelchair from a man who left it under a tarp outside his Malden, Massachusetts home to charge.
James Norris, who has cerebral palsy, says when he discovered his wheel chair was missing, he felt, "you know, kind of like going on a rollercoaster, and your stomach goes up into your throat type of thing."
Norris says he realized his wheelchair was missing when he went outside around 11 a.m. Wednesday to go to the gym as he does every morning.
"That's my legs. That's what I use to get around," he said.
Norris was diagnosed with cerebral palsy just before his second birthday. He says his wheelchair was outside charging under a tarp because he lives on the second floor of his building.
Norris says a neighbor told police that a white truck pulled up and took the wheelchair from the Fairview Avenue area.
"I am angry but what's getting me through it is the text messages, the phone calls, the support that people have shown me."
Norris, a tough, athletic guy who started handicapable fitness where he documents his own journey and that of others like him, says he doesn't want anyone else to fall victim to a similar theft situation.
"I just dont want this to happen to anybody else because I can't imagine you know being 60 or 70 years old and being faced with the same situation and not having the support system that I do."
Norris says he just wants his independence back.
"I hope that if you took it that you needed it more than I do."
The chair is blue with the words “jazzy elite” in yellow letters on the sides.
Malden police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 781-322-1212.
Norris says a new wheelchair would cost anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000. If you would like to help Norris purchase a new one, a GoFundMe page has been started for him.