An East Valley man with disabilities says someone stole his souped-up scooter that he used to carry laundry and groceries.
Bob Buehler doesn’t have a car, so the gas-powered GoPed was his only form of transportation. He said someone stole the scooter from outside his home near W. Apache Trail and Ironwood Drive Monday night.
“I flipped out because that's kind of my life here,” he said.
Buehler is a tinkerer. He made his toolkit out of a lawn chair, repaired a vacuum with parts from a laptop, and built an outdoor shelf with a body bag (a hospital agreed to give him one after a visit, he says).
The scooter was his pride and joy. He added rear-view mirrors, a speedometer, and a trailer made out of a baby stroller to haul groceries and items from Goodwill.
Once a general contractor on homes, Buehler suffered some serious on-the-job injuries that left him disabled. A fall from a building in 1991 caused bleeding in his brain. Another injury a few years later left him with a fused spine. Now he lives off Social Security Disability benefits.
For Buehler, tinkering is part passion, part necessity.
“It keeps me busy,” he said. “Keeps my brain working. Otherwise, I'd get lost.”
At the moment, he’s feeling pretty lost without the scooter. He is hoping the thief will bring the gas-powered scooter back – no questions asked.