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Updated Jul 1, 2014 - 7:56 am

Phoenix athlete's $5,000 wheelchair stolen in Ohio

Erik Hightower (Screenshot)

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A Paralympic track athlete from the Phoenix area who races in a $5,000 wheelchair says someone stole the custom-built ride while he was visiting relatives near Cincinnati.

WLWT-TV reports Erik Hightower's racing chair disappeared from a truck that was parked outside a hospital east of downtown Cincinnati. He was visiting family in Bethel after racing in Indianapolis over the weekend.

He says he's praying the wheelchair will be returned but isn't interested in pressing charges.

Hightower compares the wheelchair to a high-end bicycle and says it was specially designed for him. He says it would only have value to someone else if they sold it as scrap.

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Information from: WLWT-TV, http://www.wlwt.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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