Indiana police: Thieves steal boy’s ability to hear

4-year-old Sora - NBC News

Columbus, Indiana (WTHR) – Thieves got more than technology when they broke in a vehicle last week.

They literally stole a young boy’s ability to hear. They took the device that allows him to hear, through a cochlear implant.

Last Tuesday 4-year-old Sora experienced hearing in his left ear for the very first time.

He’d just received his second cochlear implant and all the accessories and parts to make it work – battery, microphone, processor – a backpack and box full of equipment. But when they got home from the doctor that day, mother Laura Coate says Sora was throwing a tantrum.

So mom took her son inside and left the backpack in her car, which was parked outside her apartment. The next morning, everything was gone.

“There was a big hole on his side of the car. It was just busted glass,” Laura Coate recalls.

Someone had stolen the backpack, the boxes, all that essential equipment for Sora’s cochlear implant, along with a portable DVD player that Coate had recently purchased. She says the parts for the implant are worth at least $1,000. But she and police aren’t sure if the thieves even knew that.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Columbus Police Lt. Matt Harris. “This item is of absolutely no value to them. But it means everything to this little boy.”

That’s why investigators are asking the crooks to return the implants anonymously – no questions asked.

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