Sioux Falls, SD
For some people, bicycles offer a great way to exercise or a fun day outdoors. For a Sioux Falls man with disabilities, his bike is much more important.
Getting through the hallway in his apartment building is challenging for Bill Loring. Loring was in a motorcycle accident 24 years ago. While he was in a coma for more than three months, he had a stroke affecting his ability to speak and walk on his own, requiring him to use a wheelchair.
Loring does not let his disabilities stop him from doing anything. A brand new, three-wheel bike plays an important role to independence.
"It's really sad," Dee Swain said.
Swain's son lives in Loring's building, and Swain lives a few blocks away. She would see Loring riding his bike all the time. It is Loring's only way to get around outside, and he said he needs it for exercise and to get to the store.
The Sun Atlas Deluxe bike was custom-made for Loring. A police report describes the bike as yellow with gray rims. It features easy-to-use pedals and special brakes. One of Loring's favorite features is a basket with carpet so he can give rides to his dog, a Shih Tzu named Angel.
"I see him with another lady who has a couple of dogs and they take the dogs with the bike and they walk the dogs," Swain said.
But Loring noticed it was gone a week ago. He had parked his bike outside of his apartment building and chained it up.
"They cut the chain," Loring said while holding up a cut chain and cut padlock.
"They just know they can get by with somebody that's disabled or someone who has a disability," Swain said.
Now he has to use an old bike that is rusty and worn out. He said it is hard to pedal and use the brakes. This is the third new bike that has been stolen from Loring. Loring hopes he gets his yellow one back. It cost about $500, but for this man, it is priceless.
"It's his important means of getting outside and moving," Swain said.
If you have any information, call the Sioux Falls Police Department at 605-367-7212.