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Stealing from the disabled

The Active Re-Entry trailer is rigged for carrying wheelchairs and scooters for the handicapped.

By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

Active Re-Entry does a lot things in the community that helps people with disabilities, the elderly and the poor.

But now, someone has done something that hurts that organization's ability to help those that need help.

On March 8 someone cut the lock on a trailer the agency uses to transport wheel chairs and scooters, and stole it. It was a blow to helping those that need help get where they need to go, when they need to go there.

"We need that trailer because we can't transport all the wheelchairs, scooters and ramps any other way," said Louie Santillanes who works with the agency.

Active Re-Entry's director Nancy Bentley said the trailer cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2000 when it was new. The agency, which operates on state, federal, as well as grants and private funding always struggles to pay for things they need, much less having to replace anything.

The Aztec trailer is an open 6X12 single axle unit with foldup loading ramp. A spare tire is is attached on the front/drivers side and it takes a 2 inch ball to pull it. It is pretty much a typical trailer that would be used to pull ATV's.

Unfortunately there are probably hundreds of trailers that look much like it running around eastern Utah and even more of them on weekends when Wasatch Fronters come down to recreate in the area.

"We had a report yesterday that someone saw it between here and Huntington," said Bentley on Thursday. "But it turned out to be a false alarm. That trailer wasn't it."

Some of Active Re-Entry's programs include help in attaining assistive technology (wheelchairs, ramps, emergency call systems); training for those losing their sight; caregiver and grief support groups; PAWS Animal Therapy Program; SCOODEO - a nationally recognized safety training program for those who have no other means of transportation than an electric scooter; PERKIE Travels - a coordinated cancer treatment transportation system to help get people to the Utah Valley area for their radiation treatment as well as nursing home diversion and transition programs and other programs.

Active Re-Entry serves the seven counties of Eastern Utah -- Dagget, Duchesne, Uintah, Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan and covers just over 27,000 square miles.

Bentley says the trailer is used by the agency and others as well when needed.

"We have loaned that trailer to other groups to use at times," stated Bentley. "For instance the SUN Center at USU Eastern has used it to transport materials when they are doing volunteer projects."

The trailer is a Model A72125 unit with a serial number of 1A9BU1Z1761576103.

The Sun Advocate has put up a $100 reward for the return of the trailer. Whoever brings it to the Sun Advocate office will receive the reward in cash and there will be no questions asked. The Sun Advocate will then return the trailer to Active Re-Entry for their use.




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