VACAVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — Vacaville Police are looking for the man who took a motorized tricycle from an elderly man.
“I knew it was not his,” Detective Kenny Meek said. “I’m very familiar with a lot of the transient subjects around town here. So, I knew that this particular scooter was not his. And I knew that it belonged to an elderly gentleman.”
That elderly gentleman is 72-year-old David Griffith. He may not look like 72, but he said his body sure feels like it. He’s suffered from neuropathy for years.
“It feels like your hand going into a bee hive with heat. And it goes on for 24 hours a day. Sometimes, on a scale of one to 10, the pain is at a nine,” Griffith said. “If I fall down, I can’t get back up with this condition.”
His scooter is his lifeline.
“Total freedom,” Griffith said of his scooter.
But he’s had to live without it since his trike was stolen around noon on Oct. 29 in downtown Vacaville. His motorized trike was parked and being charged in the Town Square, while he was having coffee right next door.
Meek was off-duty and enjoying lunch with his wife at a restaurant next to the square when he says the trike was stolen. The suspect was seen on surveillance video and identified as 31-year-old Jonathan Austin.
“You see him look at this gentleman’s electric tricycle that happened to be charging next to a bench. He hops right on it. Takes off. He initially crashes. I initially heard that crashing sound. Uprights it and takes off right down the middle of Main Street,” Meek said.
He called dispatch, but officers didn’t find the suspect or the trike.
“He took off quick,” Meek said.
Meek said the suspect is familiar to law enforcement. Police said he previously stole a woman’s mountain bike when she went into CVS, and that he told them he sold it.
David just hopes to somehow get his trike back.
“I need it because — I wouldn’t be a burden on my wife,” Meek said through tears.