HEARTLESS THIEVES

REPORTER: LAURA SPARKES.

An entire house full of Christmas presents stolen - including five televisions and a surround sound system, bought by identical twins Margaret and Ivy for their wheelchair bound adopted daughters, 17-year-old Rachel and 30-year-old Tanya. Both women have cerebral palsy.

The group of three houses is the culmination of a lifelong dream for Margaret and Ivy -- purpose built homes, entirely wheelchair accessible - they're still amazed its all come together. They were nearly ready to move into, with the new televisions installed. But the night after they were installed, thieves stole the lot -- $32,000 worth. "I think its really heartless to come in and take from kids in wheelchairs -- its almost taking food out of their mouths. It's really very nasty", Margaret said.

Margaret says it was quite obvious the house catered for physically disabled people, in wheelchairs. "I think it's pretty low, we just don't understand what's in people's minds to do that sort of thing", she said. Apart from the televisions, the burglars also took the sound system for the specially built theatrette "It's a bit teary for me, I've been holding it together because of the kids", Margaret said. The families are now anxiously waiting on a call from their insurance company. Their house was dead locked but Margaret is anxious.

These women are used to hard times -- we've fohllowed their battles and challenges over the years Now they are determined this won't ruin their Christmas. "I've sat there today and explained to Rachel that perhaps her Christmas present might just have to come late, she will get her TV back some way, but we just have to sit there and say Christmas will come late", Margaret said.

If you would like to help Ivy and Margaret Sutton contact The Spastic Centre on 1300 136 140 or visit the website at: www.thespasticcentre.com.au