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Community Responds To Help Bike Theft Victims

November 9, 2011, 5:59 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Community Responds To Help Bike Theft Victims
ABERDEEN, SD - We shared a story with you last week about thieves taking three-wheeled bicycles from people with disabilities in Aberdeen who need the bikes to get around town.

Four bikes disappeared within a couple months. Two of those bikes were recovered with damage. But the community made sure the victims are ready to ride again.

You can expect to see Amanda Kleinsasser behind the handle bars of a bike once again in Aberdeen. She hadn't been since hers disappeared.

"I was mad," Kleinsasser said.

But as thieves ran off with her bike and three others, the community stepped up. That's what Dorothy Mazumdar of Leola did. She had a hardly used three-wheeled bike sitting around.

Erich Schaffhauser: I suppose you're getting a little old to ride a bike, huh?
Mazumdar: Ha! Well, I think I could ride it despite being in my 90s, young man.

But she wanted to give the bike away when she heard about the thefts.

"I even prayed, ‘What should I do about this?’ And it always seems the Lord gives me an answer," Mazumdar said.

And she's just one person who gave. The non-profit Aspire in Aberdeen, which serves people with disabilities, received other bikes as well.

They also received donations to cover the cost of repairing the damage on the stolen bikes that were recovered. One donor is even offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people involved.

"Pleasantly surprised, unbelievable the response,” Aspire’s Patty Marshall said. “But of course that's the way the citizens of Aberdeen and the communities are."

Donations came in statewide; from Rapid City all the way over to Sisseton.

Kleinsasser: I was happy.
Schaffhauser: Do you have a message to send to those people?
Kleinsasser: Thank you!

Each of the theft victims will have a new or repaired bike.



© 2012 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.

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