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This South Philadelphia couple had their car stolen on Thanksgiving. But that's not all they're missing.

South Philly couple had car stolen on Thanksgiving, along with cane and walker
South Philly couple had car stolen on Thanksgiving, along with cane and walker 02:43

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Police say several dozen cars are stolen every day in Philadelphia. This year has been the worst on record for vehicle thefts. 

On Thanksgiving night, a South Philly family had their car stolen and said they were more concerned about losing what was in the vehicle.

RELATED: Records show car thefts are skyrocketing in Philadelphia. Police say they lack resources

The Petroskis have lived in South Philly since the early 1990s and say they love the convenience and free entertainment. 

"Bruce Springsteen, I could hear him while taking a shower," Lynn Petroski said. "The Mummers used to come up this way. We could hear them. We didn't have to go anywhere."


The couple says they shared one car mainly used for doctors' appointments and grocery shopping. Now, they're looking for a plan b. 

"I'm a realist so I think, 'Wow, it's taken this long for somebody to steal my car.' At the same time, yeah, I'm really shocked," John Petroski said. 

They noticed their car was gone late Thanksgiving night, taken from their designated disabled parking spot.

"Upset that we live in a time when people think it's OK to take somebody else's property," John Petroski said. 

A stolen car on Thanksgiving is one thing, but it wasn't until the next morning that the couple realized they weren't just losing the ability to drive around, but even walking around would be a challenge. 

"Next morning I realize, 'Oh, the walker. Uh oh, the cane,'" Lynn Petroski said.

RELATED: Teens linked to hundreds of car thefts across Philadelphia region: sources

John Petroski says he has various medical conditions and struggles to walk without assistance.

"Around the house, I have stuff to touch, grab, so I'm pretty good here, if I'm outside, yes I need them," John Petroski said. "If I'm going a distance, I need the walker. For short distances, I can use a cane."

Philly police confirmed they're searching for the Petroskis' stolen 2017 Hyundai Sonata. 


According to Philly police, more than 20,000 cars have been stolen in the city this year, shattering all previous records. Last year, there were 12,000 stolen cars in Philly.

Last month, a CBS News Philadelphia investigation found Hyundais and Kias make up for more than 60% percent of the stolen vehicles, possibly because of a how-to video that became popular on social media.

"What we are seeing is the majority of our arrests do involve juveniles, that's who's drawn to these TikTok videos," Capt. Jason Smith of the Philadelphia Police Department's Major Crimes Unit said. "That's where they're learning how to steal these vehicles."

A widespread problem, leaving people like the Petroskis with a real predicament.

"The walker and cane are my really my way of getting around," John Petroski said.

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