August 4, 2014 8:29 pm

Special needs bike stolen from backyard

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WINNIPEG — A 10-year-old boy’s favourite hobby was robbed from him Saturday night.

A thief broke into the Reid family’s backyard in Elmwood and took Jacob’s special needs bike.

“My son is heartbroken. He loves riding his bike,” Arlene Reid, Jacob’s mom, said Monday.

Jacob’s BMX bicycle was specially fitted by the Children’s Rehabilitation Centre in Winnipeg with training wheels. The set costs $400.

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“For Jacob, it was a means of getting him out and about that he could never have experienced. I wanted a bike that could take his weight, and when it was gone, it was kind of heartbreaking,” his dad Chris said.

Jacob’s parents said Jacob is autistic and has a hard time understanding social situations, is often overwhelmed and can have meltdowns when upset.

Jacob thinks the person who stole his bike targeted him.

“He thinks we can just beat them up and get his bike back,” Arlene said.

Frustrated by the crime, Chris and Arlene took to social media. Roughly 2,500 people shared their link. Some people offered to raise money to buy the 10-year-old a new bike; others have offered to donate a bike.

But late Monday afternoon, the bike was returned to the Reid family.

“Amazing news!!! Some guy just returned the bike!! He wishes to remain anonymous,” Arlene Reid said.

He told Reid he saw the posting on Facebook and confronted the rider, who said his father had stolen the bike for him. The man who returned it took the bike from the kid and dropped it off at the Reids’.

“It definitely wasn’t returned in the same condition. The handlebars have been painted, the front brake is missing, as well as other damage, not to mention the special training wheels are absent,” Arlene said. “Jacob is quite upset about the condition of the bike and we are trying to make him understand at least the bike was returned.”

The next step is to contact the Children’s Rehabilitation Centre, fix the damage and get Jacob back on the streets riding his bicycle.

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