An organization for those with special needs in Riviera Beach is hurting after someone broke in and stole two tricycles intended for those with disabilities.
The head of the organization says staff is devastated. Not only because someone broke into the center but because not having the bikes anymore impacts the lives of those who rely on them.
“It was really painful to see,” said Holly Stewart, the chief operating officer of Arc of Palm Beach County.
Stewart's heart breaks to see the surveillance video captured early Sunday morning. It shows a man in a white T-shirt stealing a red tricycle. It’s for disabled adults and children to ride.
“Our children do not have the same opportunity that other children in our community here [have],” explained Stewart. “They come here because this is a safe environment, where they get to do things their non-disabled peers learn to do.”
The tricycle is one of two stolen from the outdoor playground. One is a Rifton Adaptive Tricycle, with a unique design to allow a person with physical developmental disabilities or other limitations to gain mobility. The other is a large, red three-wheeled tricycle designed for an older child or adult.
The tricycles have specially-outfitted straps and pedals and cost a total of more than $2,400. Each one was donated to the center.
“We worked so hard to obtain them, so hard keeping them safe and secure and to know someone came in and took something from our Arc family was very hard to watch,” said Stewart.
Sixteen-year-old Jaylin is on the Autism spectrum. Video from the organization captures him enjoying his favorite activity: riding the now missing red tricycle that was designed especially for him. He has this to say to the man who stole it. “Tell [me] sorry,” said Jaylin. “You apologize to me.”
The organization serves adults and kids from all over the area, people who depend on it for everything from camp to classes.
Now, those who work there have this message for whoever stole the tricycles they worked so hard to get.
“We're asking you to please bring the bicycles back,” said Stewart. “They're not worth anything except to our community.”
The missing red tricycle was donated especially for Jaylin. That's why it's so important that it's returned. No questions asked.
If you have any information about the person who took them, please call the Riviera Beach Police Department at 561-845-4123 and reference case number 16-05963.