2 MPD officers surprise girl with wheelchair after thief steals it

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two Memphis police officers surprised a teen from Cordova who had her wheelchair stolen.

Annabelle Hulgan is very relieved because she has Spina Bifida and uses the wheelchair to get around every day.

It was stolen two days ago from her driveway in Cordova.

Her mother, Christen said she left her van running with the wheelchair, her purse, and other belongings inside.

“She heard a car door slam and she said mommy someone just got in the van. I said ‘oh you are being silly again no one would do that, no one is out there,’” said Hulgan.

When the two ladies looked outside, they saw the van driving off.

To get a new wheelchair would cost the family $10,000 and take about eight months to get it delivered.

“She was so hurt, so hurt and she hasn’t slept in a couple of days worried about it, thinking about what happened to it,” said Christen Hulgan.

“I called my friends screaming and crying,” said Annabelle Hulgan.

One day later, the thief was caught and the van was recovered in Frayser but the wheelchair was still missing.

They almost gave up hope until they received a call from Memphis police who were given a tip Friday morning and found the chair abandoned on the side of the road.

Luckily, it’s still in good shape.

“Like a miracle! We started screaming and I was jumping and you were screaming,” said Christen Hulgan.

Both Annabelle and her mother want the thief to know this is more than just a wheelchair, it’s part of Annabelle’s livelihood.

“The wheelchair is an extension of her body, those are her legs, that’s part of who is she is,” said Christen Hulgan.

“A consequence should be going into the special needs community, learning what this is about, learning how people need wheelchairs.”

The family said they are overwhelmed by the support from Memphis police and the community.

They made a post on Facebook and it received over 1,000 shares.

Their next step is to properly clean the wheelchair and make sure it’s still comfortable for Annabelle.