Stolen bikes

Ah, the lazy days of summer seem to finally have arrived! Backyard BBQs, baseball games and bike rides with the family. I myself have great memories of my little sister Kathy and I riding bikes to the local Giant-T store in Moscow for 10-cent ice cream cones. Maybe you also have similar memories.

Perhaps too you can imagine the dismay of our kids discovering two bikes missing from our side yard earlier this week. They were headed out for one of those blissful summer bike rides, only to experience the frustration and despair of being the victims of someone’s petty, selfish crime.

If you’ve ever been the victim of theft, you understand the violation we all experienced as we stood there dumbfounded that two kids now were without bikes. And sadly, this isn’t the first time. Since moving into our house, we have had FOUR kids’ bikes stolen from our side yard. As “luck” would have it, the thieves have managed to take three of the bikes from kids who previously had nothing themselves. The bike that was taken represented one of the first things they ever owned since being adopted into a family.

I’m honestly perplexed by this behavior. Either the thief is an adult or a child. If it’s an adult – shame on you for stealing children’s bikes! If it’s a child – where are the parents? Don’t you know and realize if suddenly your child shows up with a new bike? Aren’t there questions that should be asked like, “Where did you get that bike?”

I admit I’m pretty old-fashioned when it comes to raising kids, and I know parents are faced with many unique challenges today….but seriously, if your child is suddenly riding a bike that either they didn’t receive as a gift (from you or other adults in their life) or purchase (with money you know they earned/received), shouldn’t you be a little suspicious and ask a few questions? Do I dare suggest that you, as the parent, should require your child to rectify a wrong situation by returning the stolen property? I’m pretty certain that if your child was the victim of a similar crime, you’d hope the same.

I suppose having four kids’ bikes stolen in the past year has helped our kids learn a tough lesson about why stealing is wrong. One of our kids probably said it best: “If they needed a bike, they should have just asked – we would have shared with them!”

If you do happen to know anything about the missing bikes from 320 E Power Street, I know four kids who would be thrilled to have their bikes returned, no questions asked.

This is a copy of a recent “Letter to the Editor” I wrote to our local paper which will be published in Saturday’s edition of the Ranger Review.