James Jett saved up for more than a year to buy a $1,900 wheelchair to help him get around after arthritis made walking too painful, CBS2's Christina Fan reported Friday.
"The movements and the speed, it was a fantastic chair. I went all around Manhattan shopping with it," Jett said.
Just three weeks after the purchase, the wheelchair was stolen.
"I had to sit down because I was so shocked. I didn't think something like that would happen," Jett said.
Jett parked his wheelchair outside Asbell Pharmacy on Saint Nicholas Avenue on June 19. In the few minutes he was inside getting prescriptions, a suspect rode off on the motorized chair.
The pharmacy's surveillance video shows the thief took off down West 190th Street.
Police also released photos of the suspect, hoping someone identifies him.
"Since I lost the chair, my blood pressure is up. It's very high," Jett told Fan.
Jay Domadia, who owns the pharmacy, is livid. He experiences shoplifting regularly at his store, but said what happened to Jett, a longtime customer and friend, is heinous.
"I can afford to lose money, you can afford to lose some money. He can't. He works hard. He doesn't have much money," Domadia said.
Jett is unable to buy a replacement wheelchair. He's facing financial pressure to pay off the remaining $800 he owes for the one that was stolen.
Jett said he struggles to get around his neighborhood without the wheelchair. For now, he's constrained to a two-block radius around his apartment.
"I can walk through the hallway to get the mail and maybe to the corner and get groceries. But I can't do much more than that," he said.
Jett said he just wants the wheelchair back, no questions asked, so he can regain mobility.
CBS2's Christina Fan contributed to this report.
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