Victoria mother struggling after her car and younger sister’s wheelchair is stolen

Shelby Villarreal's car was stolen, in it was her little sister's wheelchair who she recently gained custody over and is struggling to get her sister around

VICTORIA, Texas – Shelby Villarreal’s car was stolen and after a high-speed police pursuit, her car ended up in the Port Lavaca bay and was totaled. Her car was paid off and she only had liability insurance so it’s a total loss and on top of that her younger sister’s wheelchair was in the trunk and was nowhere to be found after the car was recovered.

Villarreal recently was granted custody over her two younger sisters, 7-year-old Cecilia and 10-year-old Emily, and is now their primary caretaker. Her sister Emily was born with Spinal Bifida which has left her paralyzed from the waist down so she’s had a wheelchair that was specifically designed for her. However, when thieves recently stole Shelby’s car, Emily’s wheelchair was in the trunk. The two men who stole the car have been arrested but the wheelchair is gone, which Villarreal says has made an already tough situation even tougher on her and her sisters.

“It’s Emily’s wheelchair the most that hurts me, of course I’m heartbroken over my car, but it’s her wheelchair that really really breaks my heart. I wish I could ask him like ‘hey man what’d you do with the wheelchair, everything else, okay fine, you destroyed my car but the wheelchair where’s that at? Because she really needs that’,” says Villarreal.

On top of taking care of her two little sisters, Villarreal has a 10-month-old baby of her own, so she says that her plate is full and she’s doing her best to keep it together for her sisters and baby while moving forward, but as a 26-year-old Villarreal says she’s having to figure out how to deal with all of this on her own.

“Hopefully, it’s gonna be a process to get her a new one, though I guess insurance or however, that’s what I’m saying. Right now I have to figure out all that on my own. With me just taking over guardianship over Emily, I guess placemenship, there’s a lot to figure out,” says Villarreal.

Villarreal says that she also doesn’t have a ramp outside her home so anytime they leave the house she has to pick up Emily and carry her on her back, which has begun to cause Villarreal back pains, but her love and dedication for her sisters won’t slow her down, and in the meantime is trying to look at things in a positive light

“It’s a way we get around, do things, go to school, get to work, but I thank God, maybe it was meant to be my car that night. What if those men couldn’t get into my car, what if they went into my house,” says Villarreal.

There is a Gofundme page set up to help Emily get a new wheelchair which you can find here. Villarreal says that if anyone can assist them in getting a ramp for her little sister to email her at