Adaptive tricycle stolen from 10-year-old with special needs

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by HEATHER GRAF / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherGrafK5

KING5.com

Posted on May 3, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Updated Friday, May 3 at 11:36 PM

Auburn Police are looking for the person they say stole an adaptive tricycle from a little girl with special needs.

10-year-old Linette Norman was crushed when she heard the news.

"When she was six months old, she had a head injury, and that resulted in a weakness on her right side and developmental delays," said her mother, Angie Norman.  "This bike was really the first time she could ride out on her own."

Norman says the specially-built tricycle was first introduced to Linette during a therapy session.  She had so much success with it, the family wanted one to keep at home. 

The only problem?  It cost $1200.

"So we were able to go to a website that offers what they call a kiddie pool, and family and friends were able to donate toward the bicycle," Norman explained.

They got it just a few years ago, and since then, Linette has made great strides.

Then on Monday, the bike disappeared from the family's garage, when the door was left open for a few hours.

"It was really an independence for her," said Norman.  "It's her freedom, when she rides, and it meant so much that so many people cared and donated for it.  I was upset for her and upset just that it would happen, it's so random."

What's worse, a normal, two-wheeled bicycle belonging to Linette's mother was left untouched by the thieves.

The family is just hoping whoever stole the bike will realize how much it means to Linette, and bring it back.

"If they have the opportunity to drop it off some place or drop it off in the driveway, that would be fantastic," said Norman.

Since it is such a distinctive-looking tricycle, Auburn Police hope someone will spot it soon, and alert detectives.

As for why it was stolen, they say it was likely a crime of opportunity - someone saw the bike through the open garage door, grabbed it, and took off.

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