MELVILLE resident Joanna Rusling’s mother Anna Slattery has been left completely deaf in one ear after a thief made off with her $8000 cochlear implant at the weekend.
Mrs Rusling was watching her children and nephews at Kadidjiny Park around 1.45pm on Saturday when a man shattered the window of her car and stole an esky and her mum’s handbag, which contained the expensive hearing aid.
The smash and grab happened less than 50m from where Mrs Rusling was standing with her mum next to the children’s play area.
“I heard a car braking hard and looked up and saw someone had parked next to me but didn’t really think anything of it,” she said.
“Next thing I heard a huge smash and realised what he was doing.
“I started running over but couldn’t get my phone out in time to take a picture and by the time I got there he had jumped back in his car and sped off.”
Mrs Rusling believes the man may have followed the group from a nearby patisserie in Willagee.
“We were parked outside the store for about half an hour waiting for them to finish cooking a batch of sausage rolls,” she said.
“The worst part is that’s the only reason mum didn’t have her hearing aid in – she took it out because she was waiting in the car with the kids and it was too noisy for her.”
Mrs Rusling said her heart dropped when she realised her mum’s hearing aid, which attaches magnetically and is useless to anybody besides her, had been stolen.
“Mum was quite upset Sunday and Monday when it sank in and I’ve been trying to her to stop blaming herself for leaving it in the car,” she said.
“She’s completely deaf in that ear without the implant which is very challenging for her. She’s had to resort back to lip reading quite a lot.”
The thief subsequently attempted to make two purchases at liquor stores in Winthrop and Kardinya but was foiled because Mrs Slattery’s cards had already been cancelled.
Mrs Rusling described the perpetrator as tall and agile and said he was driving an older model white sedan.
“He was slender and wearing a white or light coloured top with a blue cap but I didn’t get the best look at him,” she said.
“We’re hoping he’ll have been caught on CCTV at one of the liquor stores.”
Mrs Rusling has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of a replacement hearing aid for her Mum at www.gofundme.com/cochlear-hearing-aid-for-anna