Yesterday, it was reported that dastardly thieves stole a handicapped octogenarian's scooter outside a church on the Upper East Side. However, unlike just about every other theft story we hear about, this one has a happy ending: police were able to track down and return the mechanized wheelchair. And it may have all been a big mix-up!
A porter working across the street from the church had seen two women putting 86-year-old Ellie Krach's scooter into a van, and jotted down the license plate number. Police tracked the vehicle to the Bronx; instead of finding meth heads or mechanical poachers, the women immediately admitted to taking the scooter, because they mistakenly thought it was left out with the trash. One of the women told detectives she works as a cleaner around the corner from the church and scooped up the scooter because she has a disabled brother. Police are not charging the women: "They were in complete shock. In no way did they think they were stealing," a law enforcement source said.
Krach is a little more skeptical of their story, but doesn't see any need to press charges: "I don't believe they thought it was garbage. It's brand new. But the thing is, I have it back. I can't believe that. I'm very pleased." An interesting tidbit: yesterday, Krach mentioned that she planned to borrow one of her friends' scooters till she could get another. That friend? Liza Minelli, who was a close friend of one of Krach's daughters since the late 1950's, and even came to refer to Krach as "mommy."