Police in California are searching for a suspect who stole a custom bike from a child with special needs.
Damian Jeffries, 13, was born with cerebral palsy, a chronic condition that affects body movement and muscle coordination. It’s typically caused by damage to one or more areas of the brain during fetal development.
His mother had the foot-and-hand-pedal bike worth more than $5,000 custom-made for him so he could feel “more normal,” KABC.com reported.
“We wanted to make sure he had something to make him, as he says, ‘more normal,’” Allesha Jeffries, Damian’s mother, told the news station. “I hate the word normal, but normal like all the other kids— to be able to ride and get around.”
Damian is now hoping the Burbank Police Department can help him find the thief who stole his bike Saturday evening. Surveillance video shows the suspect walking out of the lobby door of a Riverside Drive building with it.
“Who would steal a handicapped kid’s bike?” Damian told KABC.com. “It made me feel like a normal kid because, like, almost every kid rides a bike or a skateboard.”
Despite doctors telling Damian’s mother her son suffered severe brain damage, he has beaten the odds to learn how to walk, talk and even ride his special bike.
“If you see this, return the bike. It’s a crime, but return the bike,” Allesha pleaded to the suspect. “It’s very important to him.”
Police told KABC that the suspect will face grand theft charges.