An RAF veteran has said he has been trapped in his home for eight days after thieves stole his mobility scooter.
Iain Anderson, who is from Newcastle-under-Lyme, served in the forces for 15 years and had been gifted the scooter by the Royal Air Force Association four months ago.
The scooter enabled him to go to the shops on his own and live more independently.
But on 11 January, the 55-year-old was devastated to discover the mobility scooter had been taken from its spot outside his front door.
Iain has a condition called intermittent claudication where the arteries in his legs get blocked and it causes him pain when he walks.
He says the theft of the gold Kymco scooter is like a "smash in the teeth", as he "fought for this country so people like that can go about their business."
He said: "When I got down the stairs to take my dog out at 10.30pm, it wasn’t there. I felt sick, I was in disbelief.“I can’t keep it in my flat and I wasn’t allowed to keep it under the stairwell so I had to keep it outside the main door. It’s been there for months. You just don’t think somebody would steal something like that."
He adds: "I’ve still got the keys and the charger so it’s completely useless to anybody else. They won’t be able to sell it on."I just want it back no questions asked. It means a lot to me and it’s totally ruined my ability to do anything.”
Iain, who is a veteran of Northern Ireland and the First Gulf War and has been awarded three medals during armed forces career, says the theft feels like a ‘smash in the teeth’.He added: "I have got PTSD because of the things I did and saw in Northern Ireland and Iraq, it wasn't good."
"I’ve been a member of the RAF association for 20 years and have been helping them raise money. Some of the members there got me this scooter so it’s even more devastating because people had gone out of their way for me.
"I use it everyday. I can only walk about 15 yards before it becomes too painful. If I do go out on foot, by the time I get back I’m in tears. It takes a good 40 minutes for the pain to wear off. I’m nearly passing out if I have to walk anywhere.
"Now I’m stuck and can’t go anywhere. Thankfully my son comes around and helps but it’s not fair on him.
"I feel like I’ve lost my independence. I don’t see anyone apart from my son who comes to me. I’ve lost my entire social life."
Iain, who is a decorated veteran and served in the Gulf War, said: "I spent 15 years in the RAF and have three medals, and then this happens. I fought for this country so people like that can go about their business.
"People who have got the morals to steal what they know people rely on is quite unbelievable."
Staffordshire Police said the force is appealing for witnesses to come forward.
A spokesman said: "At 2.25am on Tuesday (January 11) a gold Kymco mobility scooter was reported as stolen from a porch at an address on Dove Place, in Newcastle-under-Lyme."