A DISABLED teenager from Southampton has been left housebound after his wheelchair was stolen from outside his family home.

Adam Crook, who has Down's syndrome and is autistic, had just returned from a day out with his mum Jo when the wheelchair was stolen from their front door.

Now Jo is appealing for it to be returned as her 18-year-old son can't leave the house without it.

Mum-of-three Jo, 54, a full-time carer for Adam, as well as a clerk for Hampshire County Council, has put up posters around local shops appealing for the return of the red and black, foldable NHS wheelchair.

Jo, of Spring Road, said: "He is profoundly disabled and can't walk too far. It's coming to the summer holidays and we can't go out on a day out without it.

"He relies heavily on it and people who have reliable legs don't realise that. Even if we get it back next week it will still mean he has been incarcerated inside for a couple of weeks."

Adam was due to go on a family holiday to Disneyland Paris in October to celebrate his 18th birthday. Now Jo is concerned it will be difficult to take him around the park.

She said: "I think it might be more to do with foolishness than malice. But we just want it back.

"We've been very moved by the kindness of people. We have already had an offer of a motorised scooter and two wheelchairs but they would be unsuitable."

The wheelchair was stolen from outside the family home on July 17, at about 9pm.

Police spokesman Ian Sainsbury said: "We would appeal for anyone to come forward that has any information about this crime which has left a vulnerable teenager unable to get out of his house. It's a very mean thing to do."

Anyone with any information should contact Bitterne police station on 0845 045 4545 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

● If you can help Adam, contact Ash Bolton at the Daily Echo on 023 8042 4496 or e-mail ash.bolton@dailyecho.co.uk.