“SENSELESS” thieves left an arthritis-sufferer stranded in her own home after they snatched an essential mobility scooter from her driveway.

Sheila Hammond is worried about a potential spate of theft afflicting users of wheelchairs and mobility scooters across the area.

She left her home, in Skelmersdale Road, Clacton, on Thursday morning to find the vital piece of kit had been stolen.

Sheila, who is recovering from a broken femur, is mystified as to why anyone would steal the scooter.

“I can’t think why someone would want to take it,” she said.

“It was was smashed at the front from where a car had hit it. Most of the front had fallen off and the indicator was taped on.

“I have a camper van on the driveway and I left it behind the van - of course I feel stupid for leaving it out.

“I came out the next morning and it was gone.”

In recent weeks officers recovered a stolen wheelchair and mobility scooter after burglars raided the home of an amputee.

Simon Baker, 52, from Oliver Close, Clacton, returned home from spending almost two weeks in hospital to discover the equipment missing.

After reporting the theft to Essex Police, he discovered the items for sale on internet auction website eBay.

Sheila has managed to regain her mobility thanks to the generosity of a friend, who purchased her a new scooter after hearing of her plight.

“I am so grateful to them,” she said.

“There are good people in the world.”

She added: “It is a senseless thing to do, it has been really hard not being able to get about.

“I am recovering from a broken femur and haven’t recovered so it is essential to have it.

“I have had to rely on people giving me lifts.

“It’s not nice having to hope someone is around to take you to the shops or the bank.

“I think people need to be aware that there seems to be a spate of this at the moment.

“People must take extra care with this kind of equipment.”

Anyone with information about the thefts can contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.