Ramps replaced after 'despicable' theft


WARREN – Mayor Michael J. O’Brien got help for an older West Side couple with limited income after thieves made off with the wheelchair ramps from in front of their home.

“I’m ecstatic,” Helen Tsilimos, a triple amputee, said Tuesday afternoon after hearing from the mayor’s office that he’d see to getting them a replacement. “I can’t believe it.”

She was directed to city hall by The Vindicator after the newspaper checked the morning’s city police reports.

The only clues to the theft, she explained, are tire tracks leading from the street up to their home, so the thieves could carry off the eight-foot-long ramps.

O’Brien said he purchased new metal ramps from Franklin Health Care on East Market Street for $150. They are portable and go across three steps.

The mayor explained that if the couple doesn’t qualify for free emergency assistance, he will pay for it.

“That will be figured out later,” O’Brien said. “The important thing is to make sure she has the ramp.”

The 63-year-old Tsilimos initially was uncertain of what would happen after the metal ramps ok were stolen   from the couple’s Southern Boulevard Northwest home.

Her 67-year-old husband, John, noticed the ramps were missing as he drove his car out of the driveway on his way to the drug store Monday afternoon.

Helen Tsilimos has been a triple amputee for nine years, having lost her legs and an arm to illness.

The couple live on a modest monthly pension after their insurance premium is paid.

“For someone to steal this is outrageous,” O’Brien said. “That’s the most despicable thing you can think of doing.”

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