A disabled woman's mobility scooter was stolen while she was attending a funeral in Birkenhead.
The woman parked her vehicle on the pavement outside St James' Church at around 2pm last Tuesday and went inside to attend a service.
When she came out around half-an-hour later, the scooter had been taken.
A member of the public called police to say that the scooter had been found badly damaged and burned on land near Connaught Way.
CCTV from the area is being examined and an investigation to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident is continuing.
Neighbourhood Sergeant for Birkenhead Kerri Ward said: "This is a despicable crime which has left the victim shocked and upset.
"The scooter is a lifeline and her only way of getting out and maintaining her independence. Fortunately her son has replaced it but someone else may not be as fortunate and we are working hard to bring those responsible to justice.
"The scooter was royal blue with 'able world' on the back. We believe around four boys in their early teens may have been seen pushing it towards Connaught Way and I would appeal to anyone who saw the scooter after 2pm last Tuesday to get in touch with us."
Anyone with information should call Birkenhead police via the non-emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.