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Bikes For People With Disabilites Stolen

November 2, 2011, 6:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Bikes For People With Disabilites Stolen
ABERDEEN, SD - Thieves in Aberdeen have been running off with an important form of transportation for people with disabilities.

They are targeting three-wheeled bikes used by people with disabilities to get around town. Half of them have been recovered, but it's devastating for the victims.

As traffic rolls through Aberdeen, don't be surprised to find Bruce Likness in among it on his three-wheeled bicycle. You’ll see him on his borrowed bike, that is.

"Bike was locked to a short post; they lifted the chain over it," Likness said.

Likness isn't able to verbalize many words so he types out what he wants to say. And there's plenty he could say ever since he woke one morning to find his bike gone. He uses it to go to work, the grocery store and anywhere else.

Erich Schaffhauser: Is it frustrating that someone just came and stole your bike?
Bruce Likness: Yeah.

And he's just one person. Two bikes disappeared in September and two in October, one of those as recently as this past weekend. They've all been taken from people with disabilities.

One of the bikes showed up at Moccasin Creek but it was damaged and needs to be fixed. Another one that was recovered had damaged too.

"This impacts them financially, emotionally,” Nancy Schlichenmayer said. “It'd be the same as if I were to go out now and my car was gone. I would be devastated and pretty upset too."

Nancy Schlichenmayer works with Aspire, an agency that provides services for people with disabilities. She says one of them has spent more than $300 on taxi fares since her bike has gone missing.

Likness is thankful his neighbor is letting him borrow a bike which he makes sure to lock to a tall pole every time he leaves it. His message to anyone out there with his bike is simple.

“Need it back,” Likness said.

Replacing it would cost about $600.

© 2012 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.

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