Disabled girl's equipment stolen in Stockton

Rebeccah and Melodie Cook
Image caption Melodie Cook relies on her specially-made wheelchair to go outside

A mother has described thieves who stole her disabled daughter's equipment as "heartless and cruel".

Melodie Cook, who suffers from rare genetic disorder Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, has to use a wheelchair and relies on an iPad to communicate.

The child's medication and a specially-adapted car were also taken in the burglary in Stockton early on Thursday.

Rebeccah Cook said: "I feel completely empty, it's sickening. How could anyone steal from a disabled child?"

The family was asleep upstairs when entry was gained by removing glass from a ground-floor window.

Cleveland Police described it as a very distressing crime and appealed for anyone with information, or who had been offered the items for sale, to contact the force.

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