Heartless thieves smashed a family’s car window while they slept and stole a ten-year-old girl’s disabled parking badge.
Eduardo Reyes woke on Monday morning to discover his daughter Amy’s blue badge had been stolen from the Citroen parked outside their family home in Nunhead.
Amy, who was diagnosed with Rett syndrome as a baby, cannot walk, talk, or sit in a normal chair and is completely dependent on her wheelchair and the specially-adapted vehicle.
Speaking to the News, Mr Reyes described the moment a neighbour knocked on the door to deliver the bad news.
“Your heart just sinks that someone would do that – that they would open the badge and see it is a child and not think to leave it,” said the 44 year old, who works as features editor for the Law Society Gazette.
“Doing this, you’re never going to be picking on someone stronger than you are you.
“This probably counts as petty crime, but it’s upsetting and has a big knock-on effect in all sorts of ways.
“Her big sister, who is fifteen, was the one most upset by this – they are very close, and she is very protective of her sister.”
Mr Reyes has put a notice in the car window explaining the situation in the hope he isn’t fined for parking in the disabled bay outside their home.
He said the process for applying for a blue badge can be a lengthy one and that it could take at least a few weeks to replace.
“It’s obviously horrible to know someone targeted a child who can’t walk by doing this, but the process of replacing the badge is a particular reason our hearts sank,” said Mr Reyes.
“At the moment, we have a note in the car window giving the crime number, which we now have, and a plea not to ticket us.”
“Amy has major surgery scheduled for the end of the summer,” he added.
“When she’s discharged, she’ll be even more reliant on the car and her badge and it would be heart-breaking if this happened again.”
Rett syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects brain development, resulting in severe mental and physical disability, according to the NHS.
It affects about one in 12,000 girls born every year, although it is only rarely seen in males.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the stolen disabled parking badge can report it to police by calling 101 or anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org quoting crime reference number is 3022063/18.