By Carol Tannenhauser
A 45-year-old man from the Bronx was arrested Friday night for allegedly stealing the electric wheelchair of a 95-year-old man on Tuesday, from outside a doctor’s office on West End Avenue between 70th and 71st Streets.
Torie Branch, 45, was apprehended via an anonymous tip, police told the Rag. Because the wheelchair is valued at more than $1,000, he was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.
The nature of the property and the fact that the victim is a Holocaust survivor sent this story viral.
According to Fox5, the victim, Eric Plan, “was the only member of his family who survived imprisonment in the [Auschwitz concentration] camp and was beaten so badly that it affected his balance. He needs a wheelchair or walker to get around.” Because the medical office wasn’t accessible, he left the wheelchair outside while he went to his appointment.
Branch was captured on video leaving the scene of the crime in the wheelchair.
That was the second unusual getaway of the day. Also on Tuesday, three men robbed a T-Mobile store on 77th and Broadway, only to barrel into another car as they sped away.