Here at Hair Balls, we understand that living the life of a low-level street thief can be tough. The paycheck that comes from smashing out car windows and ripping out stereos probably doesn't go too far, especially when you've got a nasty crack habit to support.
But it has to take a special kind of asshole to steal from a blind woman.
"We're all just kind of baffled and don't want to believe it," Deidre Mucci, whose degenerative stigmatosis has left her almost completely blind for the last 20 years, tells Hair Balls.
On April 6, Mucci arrived in Houston from New Hampshire for a three week stay at Crockett's Furrst Place, where she planned to receive training for her nine-month-old yellow lab. Mucci flew alone, except for her guide dog.
"At the airport, I sat there waiting for my ride for an hour," says Mucci, 55. "I had three bags there and I had my hands on every single one of them. Being blind, I tend to be a little neurotic, because I don't get to just look over and know all is well. So I tend to always have my hands on things to know it's still with me."
Her ride eventually got to the airport, and the group traveled to The Woodlands where she was scheduled to meet the people from Furrst Place. They did some shopping at Target, where Mucci spent about $300 on groceries, then loaded the bags and Mucci's luggage, including her "survival kit" that carries about $2,500 of equipment that helps her get around, in the van that would take Mucci to Crockett.
"I always carry everything on my back. I never let that bag off my back or at my feet," Mucci says. "But I was with people I knew, and I had cash in my pocket, so I thought there was no need to haul that thing around."
The group ended the evening with dinner at the Guadalajara Hacienda restaurant, just a little north of The Woodlands Mall. When they returned, the van had been broken into, and the her survival kit had been taken.
Mucci lost a GPS device that's made for blind people, a laptop computer that's loaded with a special speech program, and her cane. At home, Mucci works as a massage therapist and receives social security payments.
"There's no way I'll be able to replace any of this stuff for quite some time," Mucci says. "I'm pretty down to bottom right now."
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She called the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and spoke briefly with a deputy, and she was told that someone would call her to take a full report. As of late Friday, she hadn't heard anything back.
"The first day, I didn't want the people to I was with to feel bad, so I didn't comment [about the theft]. But the next morning I woke up and I was very depressed," Mucci says. "But I'm so happy to be where I am, and I don't see that there's anything I can do about it."
Mucci asks that if anyone saw anything or has any information about the theft to contact her at 936-624-3647. Her stuff was taken out of a 2004 white Chevy Suburban.
"We got her cane replaced today, but she really needs her equipment," Laura Gibson, who runs Furrst Place tells Hair Balls. "She's really desperate."