|Paralympic Star's BMW Stolen in Chiswick|
Ade Adepitan appeals for help to track down thieves
An award-winning paralympic basketball player has appealed for help in tracing his specially-adapted car and wheelchair which were stolen in Chiswick last weekend.
Ade Adepitan (38), who competed for Britain in the Paralympics in 2004, was visiting his girlfriend in Merton Avenue when the thieves smashed their way into his white BMW X5 in the early hours of last Saturday (October 22nd). The car is distinctive as it is marked with the Olympics livery.
Ade, who is a regular television paralympics commentator, said he is mystified by the robbery. He said the car had very sophisticated immobiliser, an alarm and a tracking system. It has been specially adapted for hand-control driving. He said he found it difficult to believe it was a random theft.
"I've been very lucky in that the insurance company managed to source a specially-adapted car for me to use. The inconvenience is very annoying especially when I feel I spent a lot of money making it safe but you're still vulnerable".
The car also contained a specially-made wheelchair, an ' Invercare Topend" which the basketball star says he needs urgently. It is metallic blue with white spokes. Other items taken included a ' Molten' basketball with the name' Ade' on it, and a pair of crutches which are purple and orange in colour. Five tennis rackets of the' Babolats' brand were also in the car.
" I really want to get my wheelchair back as its very difficult for me to play basketball without it - they are bespoke , made to fit the individual" he said.
The police have appealed for help in tracing the car and its contents. A police statement said that the incident happened at approximately 03.40 hours when two males suspects smashed the window of the white BMW before driving away. If anyone has information they are asked to contact Hounslow police on 020 8247 6545; if you wish to remain anonymous please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Adepitan was born in Lagos in Nigeria in 1973 and contracted polio at the age of six months which ultimately prevented him from walking.
At the age of three, he emigrated with his mother to Newham in London to join his father. He was part of the Great Britain team which won the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens and the gold medal at the 2005 Paralympic World Cup in Manchester. He has also featured on many television programmes and campaigned against racism and disability discrimination. He was awarded an MBE in 2005 for his services to sport.