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News / Clark County News

Vancouver man, 79, has electric scooter stolen after it dies on way home

Facebook fundraiser collects money for new scooter

By Jerzy Shedlock, Columbian Breaking News Reporter, and
Andy Matarrese, Columbian environment and transportation reporter
Published: January 16, 2018, 12:13pm

Vancouver resident Lynn Arthur was headed home from running a couple errands on Friday when his electric scooter ran out of juice, and he had to leave it where it stopped. A short time later, it was gone — stolen.

Arthur, 79, had just crossed the Interstate 205 overpass on Mill Plain Boulevard when the Drive Spitfire Scout scooter, his primary method of transportation, died.

He tried to call some friends for help, but no one answered. So he walked home to his apartment near Southeast 10th Street and Southeast Ellsworth Road, lugging a wagon he’d been towing behind the scooter. The trek “did me in,” he said.

After getting to the apartment, he was able to reach people who agreed to retrieve the scooter. But by the time they got there, it had been stolen.

Arthur said he has glaucoma and partial visual impairment. He has used the Spitfire for two years to get to places near his home and otherwise rides the bus to get around.

He reported the theft to police later that evening.

According to an account of the incident provided by the Vancouver Police Department, the Vancouver Fire Department was the first to respond to a call for welfare check on a man “walking in the area of Southeast McGillivray Boulevard and Southeast Chkalov Drive” shortly after 4 p.m. Friday.

Responders found a scooter but not the man, and they had nothing connecting the two together. They left the scooter there.

Arthur said he borrowed the scooter from his sister, Dorothy Marvin, whose contact information is on the bottom. The scooter has red fenders over its wheels and a basket attached to its handlebars.

He’s optimistic he’ll get it back, he said.

“I’m hoping whoever picked it up will have a change of heart and return it,” Arthur said, “or someone who knows the person who took it will provide information.”

Ken Stryker organized a fundraising drive Tuesday  on Facebook and, before the end of the day, had secured funds to buy Arthur a new scooter. He said he hoped to deliver it Thursday.

“I’m happy to provide the new scooter to Mr. Arthur on behalf of all of us who stand against this sort of criminal act,” he wrote on Facebook. “This will not be tolerated or accepted in Vancouver. I can only imagine the stress Mr. Arthur has had to endure while not being mobile. It’s the least I could do.”

Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Columbian environment and transportation reporter