Stolen bike returned to autistic girl

June 10, 2010 at 7:11 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, June 10 (UPI) -- A San Francisco man said his autistic daughter's tandem bicycle, stolen nearly a month ago, was found and presented to the girl at a police station.

Michael Hoffman said the $1,425 tandem bicycle, a 24-speed Buddy Bike, was a favorite possession of his autistic daughter, Rachel, 9. It was stolen May 16 from a locked garage at the family's apartment complex, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

Chandini Davis, 27, said she found the bike abandoned near her apartment, about three blocks from where it was taken, and learned of the theft while in the process of putting the bike in the lost and found section of

"I feel really happy that the girl is getting her bicycle back," Davis said Wednesday.

In an e-mail to United Press International Thursday, Davis said the bicycle she rides was stolen last month "and I know what it's like not to be able to replace something you loved."

Davis handed the bike over to police Tuesday and it was presented to Rachel at the police department's Central Station Wednesday.

"It means a lot," Hoffman said. "I didn't have any hope that we would ever see it again."

He said the bicycle is very important to his family because it brings Rachel joy and allows her to feel like the other girls riding their bikes in their neighborhood.

Police said they are still searching for the thief, who was pictured on a security camera. He was described as white with a shaved head and 25 to 30 years old.

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