An 81-year-old man living in a Hawke's Bay rest home is devastated after thieves stole his mobility scooter.

Jack Simpson said it was as if someone had stolen his entire independence.

Simpson was coming back home to Brittany House Residential Care in Hastings on Friday night when he decided to park the scooter next to an aviary on the grounds near his living quarters.

He said he did this rather than park it inside the building where scooters are securely stored because of his previous troubles accessing the building late at night.

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"They get upset if I ask for them

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