Homeless Luton couple have tent and wheelchair stolen
A Luton homeless woman has had her wheelchair and family tent stolen in the space of just a few weeks.
Lydia Mutoti, 50, is camped with her partner Jonathan Prigmore near the junction of New Bedford Road, the busway, and The Galaxy Centre, but has been struck with a string of bad luck.
On the weekend of the carnival (May 26-27) the couple had their tent stolen, as they had been offered some temporary accommodation by NOAH for a few nights and had left the tent hidden in the area behind Dominoes near Telford Way.
However, when the couple returned they found that it had been taken.
Then, on Saturday, June 8, Lydia was sitting in the area of the junction with her wheelchair behind a bin, but says that it suddenly "disappeared".
When she got up at around 4pm to fetch it and use it, it had gone, and she now has to face walking with a bad leg.
Lydia said: "I used to play tennis but I broke my knee when I was 14. Because of the way we live at the moment my knee has got fluid in it, and it's so swollen.
"I'm having problems; it's been horrible. I can't even go for a bath - we used to go to our friends' places who would offer. I'm a woman and it is humiliating me. I feel so depressed."
Lydia says she used to have a crutch but that got stolen, too, so the other week it took her partner John half an hour to help her walk to the doctors to try and get her chest infection and tooth abscess seen to.
Lydia added: "It was raining last week and we didn't have a tent until somebody kindly lent us one, but we can't keep it for too long.
"But I couldn't even move, because I didn't have a wheelchair.
"We were just huddled under our duvets. We didn't even have dry clothes to put on because we'd had no shelter. "
Jonathan and Lydia had fallen on hard times and were living in a camper until recently when it fell into such disrepair that they had no choice but to move out onto the streets.
The Luton Herald&Post also featured John in May when he went to help a man who had collapsed in the street after strangers kept walking past without stopping.
The couple now hope that someone can help find the green tent and Lydia's wheelchair, which is black (with a black and red seat), as the public have been so kind to them.
Lydia said: "I can't thank the public enough. They have brought us food, they have bought shoes - they have gone to the trouble of making sure it's the right shoe size.
"What have we done to deserve this?
"People have come from Leighton Buzzard, Dunstable. Children have said 'Mummy, Mummy, can we help that lady?' and they give us a pound.
"I want to say a huge thank you."
The Luton News has contacted Bedfordshire Police for a statement.