A DISABLED Wirral dad says thieves have "taken away his legs" after stealing his mobility scooter.

Andrew Sim, from Prenton, was shocked to discover that the scooter which he relies on daily had disappeared from outside the building where he lives.

The theft, which took place between Monday night and the early hours of Tuesday, has left Mr Sim with no means of transport and he says it could leave him housebound.

The 46-year-old added that he is now unsure whether he will be able to claim against the scooter's insurance as it had been left unsecured after his landlords, he claims, ordered him not to chain it to the building.

Mr Sim, who suffers from cerebral palsy, said: "I use the scooter every single day to get about, either running errands, paying bills or picking up prescriptions – it gave me independence being able to do those things for myself.

"My condition means that I get worse as I get older and some days I can barely walk around my flat with my walking stick so these people have recklessly taken away my legs.

"I've had neighbours offering to help me out since the incident which is great but it’s the little things like getting out to pick up a pint of milk quickly or going to buy electricity that you don’t want to have to rely on people."

He added: "My housing association told me not to chain the scooter to the side of the building as it could cause structural damage so it was left visible to the road.

"It is far too large to store inside so I’m now very worried that the insurance will not be valid which will mean I'll have to continue to pay for something I don't have anymore out of my disability allowance."

Mr Sim, who has undergone major surgery to his spleen, stomach and pancreas in the last year, now faces a month-long wait before his insurers will consider the claim in case the scooter is returned.

And he has appealed directly to the thieves to hand the scooter in to a police station so that he can retain his independence.

Mr Sim, a former telesales advisor, said: "I want these people to know that they have removed someone's valued independence and would urge them to get in touch with police – anonymously if they have to – in order for me to get it back.

"I don't think they realise the enormity of what they have stolen and I am hoping Globe readers can keep a look-out for me."

Steve Newsham, regional director for Regenda said: "We are deeply sorry to hear that Mr Sim has had his mobility scooter stolen from outside his home, and hope that the matter can be swiftly resolved.

"We have worked closely with Mr Sim to offer our support on a range of issues, including working with Wirral Council to potentially carrying out some adaptations to his home to better suit his needs.

"One of the adaptations being discussed is a storage unit for a scooter. We have also helped Mr Sim obtain a wheelchair to use.

"We also, though, have a duty of care to maintain the structural integrity of our buildings, especially in a communal property such as Mr Sim's home, where other people are also using the premises.

"Heavy items such as mobility scooters can cause damage to walls and external fittings, and we do need to exercise caution to prevent that happening.

"We will continue to work with Mr Sim and offer him as much support as we can."

Merseyside Police confirmed they are investigating the incident.

A spokesman said: "At about 9.30am Tuesday, July 30 officers were called to a property in Devonshire Place to a report that a mobility scooter had been stolen from outside the property overnight.

"An investigation into the full circumstances of the incident is ongoing."

Anyone with information can call Merseyside Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.