A handicapped accessible beach chair owned by the Ventnor City Beach Patrol was apparently stolen Friday evening and is still missing.

The chair, which cost approximately $1,000 and has safety straps and large wheels made to easily roll over the sand, was chained around 4-by-4 piling, which was buried deep below the sand at the New Haven Avenue Beach, Ventnor City Beach Patrol Capt. Bill Howarth said.

When the lifeguards reported to work Saturday, the noticed the chair was gone.

“Whoever stole it must have dug down deep under the pilings,” Howarth said. “They took the chains with them. Who would steal from people with disabilities?”

Howarth said the handicapped accessible chair was one of three owned by the Beach Patrol “but really two-and-a-half because the third one is in bad condition and we hardly ever use it.”

The stolen one was one of the newer ones, he said, adding that the patrol uses the handicapped accessible chairs “every day.”

“People call us at our Beach Patrol headquarters and we send an officer down to their block to help the person get on the beach and into their own beach chair,” he said. “Now, we have to say to people ‘Sorry, you have to wait. It’s being used.”

The Beach Patrol filed a police report with the Ventnor Police Department Saturday, but so far no leads have come of it. The lifeguards have also created posters with a picture of the chair on it, which they’ve posted around town to see if anyone has seen it.

Anyone with tips is being asked to call the Ventnor City Police at 609-822-2101.

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Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.