MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota man fighting cancer has his stolen mobility scooter back thanks to his own detective work.

James Hongsermeier has lung cancer and needs his scooter to get around. Someone took it from the trunk of his car overnight Tuesday.
Some may estimate say Hongsermeier’s scooter is worth $1,500. He says it’s worth more.

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“My legs are shot, you know,” he said, “and I do chemo every week and there’s a lot of walking.”

On Tuesday night, he loaded the scooter into his car to prep for the next day’s treatments. When he woke up, it was gone.

“They stole this from a man with three honorable discharges, who has cancer – for the third time,” he said.

The Vietnam veteran filed a report but Hongsermeier says he couldn’t just wait around. So he started scouring Craigslist.

It wasn’t there, but he kept looking again and again.

“He said, ‘Come here, come see this,'” said his wife, Sharon. “And it was the scooter, and it was listed in Fridley and it was $250 for it.”

There are a lot of scooters on Craigslist, but James knew this was his in the photo because of a red touch up of paint he had done a few years back, plus he had written down the serial number.

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“Had he not provided us with that Craigslist link, it probably would not have turned out best for him today,” said detective Jason Nolan with the Crystal Police Department.

Nolan and his partner, Justin Tourville, tracked down the scooter in Golden Valley, they say the people who had it said they found it.

They promptly returned it to the person who lost it.

“It was one of those things, the hairs on the back of your neck and your arm stood up when you saw the face of this man who got his scooter back, who needs his scooter to function every day,” Tourville said.

Hongsermeier was ecstatic to be reunited with his mobility.

“I was so happy, I couldn’t even take my nap,” he said.

After time at war and battles with cancer, it seems once again Hongsameir has won.

The county attorney will decide if the person police caught with the scooter will be charged.

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Crystal police say Hongsermeier is a good reminder that if something’s stolen from you , do some research on your own.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield