British Columbia

Murderball athlete appeals to thief to return stolen wheels

Team Canada para rugby player Byron Green is appealing for the return of two custom wheelchair wheels which were stolen from his car in a smash-and-grab.

Vancouver's Byron Green says his $2,300 speciallized wheelchair rugby wheels have no resale value

The wheels where stolen out of Green's car in a smash-and-grab. (Byron Green)

Team Canada para rugby player Byron Green is appealing for the return of two custom wheelchair wheels which were stolen from his car in a smash-and-grab early Monday morning in Vancouver.

Byron Green (left) helped Canada win gold at the 2015 Para Pan games and silver at the 2014 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships (Canadian Paralympic Committee)

"The retail value of these things is going to be pretty small, if not nothing. But the replacement cost to me is going to be high because it's pretty specialized stuff," he said. "I'm sure whoever took them thought they were bike wheels but they're going to be pretty disappointed to find they probably wont be able to get much for them. These wheels are specially designed for wheelchair rugby, they wouldn't even fit on a regular wheelchair."

One of the wheels that was stolen. Green say his custom wheels are valued at $2,300 but have zero resale value. (Byron Green)

Green, who lives near Granville Island, said his heart sank when he saw his back car window had been smashed in. He estimates his replacement cost for the two wheels to be $2,300.

"It's just a drag. My training is going to be impacted for the next little while because they took my equipment bag with my straps and gloves and tape and all that. I'm getting by on what I can scrounge from other players and bits of pieces I can find around the house."

Wheelchair rugby players require multiple sets of wheels because of the full contact nature of the sport and how frequently they blow tires.  

Green, a 31-year-old civil engineer from tiny Merville in the Comox Valley, is on track to make the Canadian Paralympic team for Rio this summer. He helped Canada win gold at the Para Pan Games in Toronto last year, and silver at the 2014 World Championships. 

Anyone with information about the stolen wheels is asked to contact the Vancouver Police Department at (604) 717-3321. 


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