A news tip led to a wheelchair—that was stolen from a Texas teenager with disabilites— to be returned to its owner Friday night, police said.
Monday afternoon, the teen, Eduardo Morales, and his mother, Norma, took off from their home on Redding Court in South Arlington, Texas, to go run errands and decided to leave Morales' wheelchair near their driveway. That way, his mother said, she could put him right back in it when they got home.
"We left it out for a couple of hours, never thinking that someone was going to take it," Norma Morales said. "And when we came home, it was gone."
Arlington police released several surveillance photos connected to this case Friday that were taken from a neighbor's surveillance camera. By late Friday night after the story had been on the news, the wheelchair was returned.
Saturday afternoon, Morales' mother asked NBCDFW to pass along this message to the viewers who shared her family's story:
“I am very grateful to have such a generous, kindhearted community of people that were willing to help and donate to get Eddie a new wheelchair! Eddie and I want to say thank you to everybody! Not only to viewers but to APD and all the local media that were able to help in recuperating his wheelchair. Eddie will be back in his chair as soon as I wash it. We are very happy campers!”
There are a lot of things that Morales could be angry or sad about. He has a physical disability that requires him to use a wheelchair and he is unable to speak. But instead, the 17-year-old, who loves cowboys and rodeos, chooses to be happy.
"Oh, my goodness, he is very special," his mother said. "He is very special to everybody – his school, home, family, everything."
That's why it's hard for her to understand how anyone could take anything from him.
"Oh, I cried," Norma Morales said. "I cried because (his wheelchair) is like his two legs. He doesn't have a wheelchair now."
On its Facebook page Saturday morning, Arlington police said the family is not pressing charges in the case.