A Greenwood man who lost his source of transportation to thieves is now motoring around town again thanks to the community’s generosity.
Midway RCMP say about a month and a half ago, Joe Ishida’s lawnmower tractor was stolen overnight. The 90-year-old had been using it to go to the store and pick up his mail since losing his license last year due to age. Since then, he had been relying on others.
Cpl. Phil Peters, however, felt bad for Ishida and approached his co-workers about raising funds to buy him a scooter. Everyone agreed.
“Problem was all the scooters I looked at online were $3,000-plus. That was a fairly significant chunk of change to raise, not that it was impossible.”
But Peters noticed a used scooter at a yard sale for a reasonable price and bought it. He was told he would have to replace the battery, as it had been sitting idle for a while. The battery cost almost as much as the scooter itself, but the total cost was just under $1,000.
In addition to the RCMP officers who chipped in, Peters approached a couple of local businesses, Granton Motors and Southern Interior Auctions, who both agreed to help as well.
Peters had the scooter refurbished and then he and a couple of officers took it over to Ishida’s house to drop it off.
“We parked it right in front of his steps where he wouldn’t have to go too far. I told him, ‘Joe this is for you.’ He said ‘For me? For free? I don’t have to do anything for it?’ He couldn’t believe it. He thought that was just so awesome.”
Peters said Ishida was a bit apprehensive about using it, but they did a bit of training to get him comfortable with it. A few weeks earlier, Ishida’s niece from northern B.C. visited and wanted to take him to look at a scooter, but he declined.
She was pleasantly surprised that he had embraced the one the police presented.
“She was pretty excited that he had taken to it,” Peters said. “It worked out well that he didn’t agree to getting it from them, otherwise would have ended up with two.”
Peters said it is a good example of local RCMP assisting in ways that don’t fall within their usual job description.
“As police officers, this gives us an opportunity to show our communities that we’re not just about catching the bad guys and putting people in jail. We’re also about being involved with the community and helping others out where we can.”