Thief returns special needs girl's stolen tricycle
SLIDELL - It seems the guilt was just too much to bear for a thief who stole a tricycle made specifically for a 12-year-old girl with special needs.
On Tuesday, the Slidell Police Department announced that the custom-made tricycle was dropped off with deputies by someone who was not connected with the theft. Police say that person was able to convince the thief to surrender the $2,000 tricycle.
The father of the girl had told investigators he discovered the trike was missing Sunday morning as the family was preparing for a camping trip. He told police that when he went to retrieve it from his family's storage unit, it was nowhere to be found. The Amtryke tricycle was custom-built specifically to the 12-year-old girl’s body dimensions.
The Slidell police chief especially took umbrage with the crime and shared an open letter to the unknown thief Monday.
“I can’t stand a thief, but to the person who stole a special needs child’s bike, there’s a special place in hell for you," Chief Randy Fandal said. "I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you didn’t know this was a bike specifically made for a 12-year-old special needs girl. If you have a heart or a conscience, return it, if not, I can assure you we will find you.”
Police said a couple items were missing from the trike, but it was largely intact. The chief says the investigation will continue.
After news of the theft got out Monday, numerous people offered to donate money to help replace the stolen trike. While it seems that will no longer be necessary, the family said it was still thankful for all of the support from the community.