The grandmother of a severely disabled boy who was robbed of a electronic communication device in Christchurch says whoever stole it must have known what they were taking.
Eight-year-old Caleb Phillips has cerebral palsy, and relies on the specialised device to speak for him.
It was stolen from him as he lay in bed on Saturday, while his mother was outside hanging out the washing.
His grandmother Dorothy Phillips says says whoever stole the device would have had to lean over him as he lay in bed to take it, and he is very upset.
She says the machine looks like a 40cm plasma television and is worth $20,000, but is of no use to anyone else.
The boy's mother says the machine attached to his wheelchair.
Police say the robbery is despicable and are asking for the device to be left somewhere safe so it can be returned without damage.