Tara Moss, a best-selling author and disability advocate, has reported that her stolen wheelchair bag has been returned to her, two-days after it was taken.
I am so moved. Amazing neighbors Rachelle and Teresa found my stolen wheelchair bag! It had been dumped by the thieves (as I suspected) and ended up spending a night in a garbage bin before being rescued. It's empty but intact!
This community is amazing, #VictoriaBC. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/ssO1lUjpEo
— Tara Moss (@Tara_Moss) January 29, 2022
Moss says her neighbours came to her door today to return the bag.
“Then Rachelle and Teresa, who I’ve not met before, but they live a couple blocks away, just arrived unannounced holding the bag,” Moss said. “Teresa had contacted the police but it was overnight so they hadn’t got back to her yet, and she just thought ‘well, I don’t want her to be worried anymore. We’re just going to walk over to the house.'”
Moss says the bag was empty when it was returned to her, but it was undamaged.
“It looks fine, I took a tiny bit of dirt off it, that’s it. There was just a bit of mud on it. It’s very clean actually,” Moss said. “I don’t even have to repair it. I’m so thrilled and surprised.”
When the bag was stolen, Moss also reported that her specialized wheelchair gloves were inside the bag, and unfortunately those were not returned.
She says the gloves have specialized gel-padding which help her as a manual wheelchair, especially in areas on a hill, since she has to manually brake and maneuver her chair.
“It takes a bit of trial and error to actually get the ones that work best for you, so I was really sad that those went missing,” Moss said. “It’ll be a good couple of months and a couple hundred dollars to get the same gloves sent from overseas.”
Moss says items like the gloves and wheelchair bag aren’t much use to anyone but a wheelchair user, but make a huge difference in the lives of a wheelchair user.
She says the gloves don’t provide any warmth, so they won’t be helpful in that sense, but they help to protect her hands and help her to get out in the community.
Moss says she is very happy about having her bag returned, and is thankful to her neighbours Rachelle and Teresa for finding and returning her bag.
“I really do believe in community, the people here are amazing,” Moss said, noting she has only recently returned here since living abroad. “This has been really reassuring and has underlined my belief that Victoria is one of the most special places in the world.”
Moss says a few other items from her truck and hand sanitizer from her bag were also stolen, but she was most concerned about the wheelchair items being returned since they are difficult to replace.
This story has been updated to reflect that the bag has been found. An original version of the story is preserved below.
Tara Moss, a best-selling author and disability advocate has turned to social media for help after a unique wheelchair bag was stolen in Victoria overnight.
Moss says that her truck was broken into overnight and her wheelchair bag which features a peacock feather was taken.
In addition to the bag, a pair of wheelchair gloves were also taken.
In a post on Twitter, Moss pleas to the public to keep an eye out for the specialty bag and gloves, suggesting they mean “more to its disabled owner than to any non-wheelchair user.”
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Moss indicated in her message that these specialty items are hard to get and can take many months to replace. In the meantime, Moss also says that wheelchair use is hampered with the items missing.
The bag, which hangs from the back of the chair, is black and has a peacock design on the outside, while Moss describes the gloves as being made of gel-padded specialized material with full fingers and velcro closures at the wrist.
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Moss is hoping the items can be sourced and returned, with “no questions asked.”
She says the theft has been reported to Victoria Police, and police ask anyone with information about these items to call the report desk at (250) 995-7654 extension 1.
Stephen Andrew, a Victoria City councillor, also took to Twitter in support of finding these items, while calling the theft “despicable.”
Come on folks! This is despicable – let’s help return this to Tara. No questions asked. I would be happy to pick it up or drop at City Hall. Again, no questions. We can do this! #ANDREW2022 https://t.co/jI1EJYiFPO
— Stephen Andrew (@Stephen_Andrew) January 27, 2022
Moss, who grew up in Victoria, is a well-known disability advocate.