ELIZABETH, NJ – A local pharmacy owner came through on Tuesday with his promise to give a new wheelchair to a child whose wheelchair was stolen Sept. 15.

Elmora Pharmacy owner Ben Hertz presented the replacement chair to Andrew, as the boy’s parents, Keeley Pacheco and Reinaldo Heredia joyfully watched. 

Hertz decided to replace the boy’s wheelchair after reading about the theft on the social media site FACEBOOK. He said he found the crime to be “disgusting” and thought he might be able to help.

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Intending to buy a new one, the pharmacy owner contacted Convaid, a maker of wheelchairs for children. He said he was surprised when Convaid, upon hearing the story, said it would donate the unit, valued at up to $2,500 to $4,000.

“Without it, we really couldn’t go anywhere,” said a thankful Keeley Pacheco when Hertz presented the new wheelchair. She said she has plans to install an anti-theft system on the new unit.

Although Elizabeth police did not confirm it, Hertz said he was told police had charged someone with the wheelchair theft. The theft happened when Pacheco left the unit at her son’s school bus stop on Kilsyth Road while she returned to her house to get the boy, a routine she said she follows every day.