Robbers fail in wheelchair getaway

By By Michael McFall, Staff Writer

By Michael McFall, Staff Writer

Two men tried to steal a computer from the Moran Eye Center’s front lobby by carting it out in a wheelchair.

Frank Thrower and Steven Hobbs, both 66 years old, walked into the first floor of the Moran Eye Center on Wednesday at 7:40 p.m. with a wheelchair and picked up a computer from the front information desk, according to a police report. Thrower sat down in the wheelchair with the computer in his lap while Hobbs wheeled him out of the building.

Pevro Delgada and Yaddri Carrillo, two custodians at the center, saw Thrower and Hobbs trying to make their getaway. The custodians followed and tried to stop the suspects. When Delgada tried to take the computer away from Thrower by pushing him out of the wheelchair, Hobbs pulled a knife and threatened the custodian, the report said. A Moran Eye Center employee immediately called security.

“What they did was very brave,” said Barbara Korous, the manager for the eye center who received the call for help.

Delgada and Carrillo backed away, and the two “transient-looking men,” as described in the police report, escaped to the TRAX stop across the street from the eye center in their getaway wheelchair.

Unfortunately for Thrower and Hobbs, the TRAX train hadn’t pulled away from the station before the cops showed up. They were still sitting inside with the goods.

“It’s the lesson to be learned: If you’re going to commit a crime, don’t take TRAX!” Korous said.

The computer was recovered and the men were arrested and booked on aggravated robbery and assault with a knife. Upon arrest, Hobbs gave his name as Gregory to the police instead of his real name.

“The custodians did the right thing to get involved…even in backing away when force was threatened,” said Capt. Lynn Mitchell of the U Police Department.

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