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Phoenix police make arrest in attempted wheelchair theft

Posted at 2:13 PM, Dec 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-08 16:13:04-05

Phoenix police say they have captured the man who attempted to steal a wheelchair from a woman while she was riding the light rail on Friday, November 30.

According to police, Austin Shurbutt, 26, grabbed a woman's wheelchair and began to push her out of a light rail car near the 12th Street and Jefferson stop on around 3:40 p.m. on November 30.

The victim began to scream for help, but Shurbutt forcibly grabbed the wheelchair, causing the victim to fall from her chair during the struggle.

Police say Shurbutt then attempted to steal the wheelchair but was stopped by a group of bystanders who heard the victim screaming.

Police say Shurbutt has two outstanding warrants.

He was also booked into jail and is facing several counts including robbery, attempt to kidnap, assault, and a vulnerable adult abuse charge.