Stolen racing chairs belonging to Charlotte nonprofit found behind abandoned house

Five “chariots” were stolen from Speed For Need last month.
Three weeks after they were stolen, Speed For Need has found its stolen racing wheelchairs.
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 10:50 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte-based nonprofit received great news Friday when it learned that five stolen chariots, or racing wheelchairs, that were stolen last month were found.

Speed for Need co-founder and CEO Kevin Young nearly gave up on ever finding the chairs, when two men saved the day.

After the trailer hauling the chariots was stolen in late April, Young got a message Friday that they were found behind an abandoned home in Charlotte, thanks to a man who saw a story about the missing chairs on the news.

If you’ve never heard of Speed for Need, it’s a group of men who use the three-wheeled rides to push people who want to walk or run in 5K’s but can’t, whether that be due to cancer treatment or a medical concern.

Young said the man found the chariots when he and another person were inspecting a house on Wallace Lane in southeast Charlotte that was scheduled for demolition. When they walked around to the back, they said they immediately recognized what they saw.

Five ‘chariots’ belonging to Speed For Need were stolen on Thursday.

“They saw our five racing chairs, and one of the guys says, ‘Hey I saw that on the news,’” Young said. “I think they saw it on WBTV.”

The man messaged Speed For Need on Facebook, and got in touch with Young, who came racing by.

When Young got there, he said he was reminded that ultimately there is more good in the world than bad.

“I think that if you look all around, there’s way more good that happens on a daily basis than bad,” he said. “It’s been humbling and it’s been heartwarming. Gosh, it’s just such a good feeling.”

Young was so close to giving up that he was filing insurance paperwork. Thankfully, that’s no longer needed.

According to Young, the chairs are still in great shape. They just need a little cleaning and they’re ready to get back on the course.

“The thing that they never stole is they never stole our memories, they never stole our resolve,” he said after they were recovered. “When they said they had our chairs, it’s like you just…you hope it’s true.”

As for who stole the trailer containing the chariots, Young said there have been no arrests, but that has been the furthest thing from his mind. He said his only focus was on getting the chairs back so that his racers can get back to doing what they love.

“We cannot wait to go back to racing again,” he said. “We’ve got some new members of the Speed For Need family. The guys that pushed, I’m gonna get them in a race and they’re going to help get somebody to the finish line.”

Related: Trailer containing racing wheelchairs stolen from Charlotte nonprofit organization