Police Ask for Help Finding Man’s Breathing Machine

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Police in Avon Lake are asking for the public’s help in finding and returning a man’s breathing machine that was taken from a front yard near Parkwood Avenue and Redwood Avenue on Monday morning.

Sgt. Vince Molnar with the Avon Lake Police Department says the machine, valued at $16,000, was left inside a black plastic Craftsman toolbox in a driveway around 8:20 a.m.

The toolbox was near the curb and according to Molnar, authorities are concerned that the tool box might have been seen as trash.

“Today is trash pick-up day in that area and the box was near the curb, so we think someone driving by might have thought it was just a toolbox bound for the garbage and taken it,” said Molnar.

According to Frank Herceg, his son Steven suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a lung disease that can limit an individual’s air intake.

Steven lives with another man in Avon Lake and while both were being loaded into a van for transport to a medical facility for treatment, the devise was taken.

“I am real proud of my son for living on his own. He’s 33-years-old, weights 77 pounds and is wheelchair bound because of his ailments,” said Herceg. “He had pneumonia 12 times in six-years prior to having the machine and that’s why we really want to get the machine back as quickly as possible.”

Herceg says Steven needs the machine to avoid complications associated with COPD.

Authorities are hoping to get the word out about the missing device, so the individual who took the toolbox does not think of it as garbage or scrap.

“This is a pretty expensive piece of equipment,” said Molnar. “Right now we don’t think it was stolen or taken on purpose but we want to help in getting it back.”

According to Herceg, a purple rusted van was spotted in the area of the home while the men were being loaded up for transport to the medical facility.

Authorities are asking that anyone with information on the machine or the purple rusted van please contact Avon Lake Police at 440-933-4567.