Skip to Content

Video captures suspect stealing woman’s wheelchair on Phoenix rail

Despite his reindeer slippers, this criminal was NOT spreading holiday cheer. He tried to steal a wheelchair right out from under a woman, but hero passengers on the light rail came to her rescue. As the train pulled into the station, the crook grabbed the chair. The video is tough to watch. The woman tries to hold on but eventually gets dumped out of her wheelchair and the guy takes off with it. That’s when the others on the train stepped in to help. People ran out the doors, stopping the guy and getting the wheelchair back. The criminal took off running without the wheelchair. He’s a white man, mid-20s, 200-215 pounds with dark blonde hair and a goatee. Yes, he was wearing reindeer slippers at the time of the crime. It happened the day after Thanksgiving at 3:40 in the afternoon at the light rail stop on 12th street and Jefferson. If you have any information to help track this guy down, call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or

Posted by City of Phoenix Police Department on Saturday, December 7, 2019

Reindeer slipper-wearing suspect stopped by witnesses.

PHOENIX, Ariz. (KYMA, KSWT, KECY) - A criminal was captured on surveillance video attempting to steal a woman's wheelchair right from under her.

The incident occurred on a Phoenix metro light rail the day after Thanksgiving, video surveillance was posted by the City of Phoenix Police Department (PPD) on Saturday.

In the video, a man dressed In red jacket and reindeer slippers manages to take the wheelchair from the woman, leaving her on the ground during a stop.

The criminal didn't make it far-- passengers on the light rail who saw the theft happen stepped in to help.

People ran out the doors and stopped the man, reuniting the woman with her wheelchair.

He has been suspect identified as Austin Shurbutt who is now behind bars. The 26 year-old faces a long list of charges.

In a Facebook post, PPD says the 26-year-old faces a long list of charges.


Ericka Conant

Ericka Conant has served as a Digital Content Producer since October 2019. Originally from El Centro, she calls the Desert Southwest her home.


Leave a Reply