Safe stolen from handicapped Knoxville man's apartment

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Burglaries are not uncommon, but sometimes they can be heart-breaking. This is certainly one of those stories. Over the weekend, a man in a wheel chair lost everything he'd been saving, to thieves.

This is an emotional story. Paralyzed, he was saving up money to buy a new handicapped-accessible van, but now he's left with no money and a feeling of hopelessness.

It takes Mark Machado 7 minutes just to get into his van. So when he goes to the store, it's an hour just getting in and out of his van.
Mark Machado says, "If I had somebody with me it makes my life much easier."

Machado has been in a wheelchair since an accident on Lovell road 12 years ago. Mark Machado says, "I dislocated my neck and broke my back, leaving me paralyzed."

After that crash his wife left him. Now he spends most his time with his dog, taking him for walks. That's what he was doing Sunday when someone broke into his apartment and stole his safe.
Mark Machado says, "I couldn't believe that had happened. For one it was my life savings. I'm sure it was somebody who knew me and that's what hurts even more."

For a year, mark saved his money for a new van. He'd planned to buy Wednesday, but now that money is gone. Mark Machado says, "It doesn't give me much faith in humanity. As far as it being a paralyzed person, it's worse."

Mark thinks he knows the thief, but there are no suspects. There's an account at First Tennessee bank. Donate to Mark Machado. A used handicapped van costs about $20,000 dollars.