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Community Buys New Bikes for Special Ed Program Hit by Thieves

MODESTO–

The response to the theft of special three-wheeled bikes for developmentally disabled students at Sherwood Elementary School was much greater than expected.

Students of Darlene Pierson’s class were back in the saddle of some brand new bikes donated after news of the theft of 11 bikes spread though the community.

In addition, one of the most expensive of the specialized bikes worth over $2,500 mysteriously turned up in the parking lot this morning.

“I think they had a guilty conscience for them to return one of our most expensive bikes that they knew we couldn’t replace,” said Pierson.

Later in the afternoon, Scott LaFountain of the World of Wheels bicycle shop dropped off a new $500 three-wheeled bike at the school — paid for with a donation from an Elk Grove couple. It wasn’t his first trip.

“We’ve delivered three so far and we’re getting calls from other people who want to donate,” said LaFountain.

A local PTA as well as a contracting company that did work at the school both said they wanted to donate enough to replace the remainder of the bikes that were stolen.

Students seemed to enjoy their ride around the playground, something that Pierson thought would not happen again after the theft.

“I totally didn’t expect this outpouring of support from the community … that is just huge,” said Pierson.

The reaction has been so good with bike donations and the donation of funds that they believe all of the stolen bikes will be replaced. There is also a possibility that any extra donations can be used at other schools that don’t have three-wheeled bikes for their disabled students who use them for physical development and learning a life skill that will allow them to be more mobile.