HUMBLE, TEXAS - Inconsiderate crooks stole a disabled 74-year-old Navy veteran’s car.
Bill Barrick’s 2000 Lincoln Navigator was equipped with a wheelchair lift.
“That’s my only way to do anything or go anywhere,” said Barrick, who served on a ship during the Cuban Missile Crisis. “I’m grounded.”
Barrick noticed the car gone Wednesday morning when he went out for breakfast. Since his wife of more than 40 years passed away, he gets most of his meals from restaurants.
The waitresses at a nearby Denny’s restaurant know him well.
“We see his car, and know who he is,” said server Trina Camp. “He’ll come pretty much every day.”
Because Barrick can't walk, the waitresses bring his orders out to his car.
“It’s pretty rotten that somebody would take his car,” Camp said. “That’s his only transportation.”
Barrck’s car is easy to spot. There’s disabled plates and stickers proclaiming that he is a veteran.
“Regardless of whether it belongs to a veteran or not, they know it’s for a handicapped individual,” he said. “I hope to the good Lord that (the thieves) never become disabled.”
But the story does have a happy ending. On Veterans Day, Harris County Sheriff’s deputies located Barrick’s vehicle. It was abandoned about 2 miles from his home. They brought it to an impound lot.
When Barrick picked up the car, it appeared to be in good shape, and all of his belongings were still inside. He pulled out a faded photograph from inside the glove compartment.
With a smile, he said, “That’s a happy sailor now!”
(© 2016 KHOU)