Myles Norwood’s eyes lit up when he saw a black-and-gray bike sitting outside the Los Banos Police Department and soon realized it was meant for him.
The 22-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, recently had his bike stolen outside a fast-food restaurant.
Norwood did not have his bike locked.
“We tried to give him something similar to what he lost,” said Sgt. Elias Reyes.
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After responding to a report of the bike being stolen on April 28, officers knew there was little chance of recovering the Raiders-decorated bike. Officers turned to the department impound lot for a replacement.
After assessing the bleak selection , they decided to purchase a new bike.
“I put an envelope at dispatch and everybody started pitching in,” Reyes said. Soon, they had enough money to purchase the bike. But the giving didn’t stop there. Reyes said Wal-Mart also pitched in to help pay for the bike, a helmet and a lock.
Reyes was overjoyed when he called Norwood’s grandmother, Jan Morgan, to explain that her grandson would soon be the owner of a brand-new bike.
Morgan said she became emotional during the phone call, telling Reyes the timing couldn’t be more perfect; Norwood was about to have a birthday.
Reyes presented the bike to Norwood on Thursday.
“At first I thought I was getting arrested,” Norwood said, of what was going through his mind upon arriving at the Police Department.
He said he was shocked and happy when he saw the bike, which has a few Raiders decals, thanks to officers.
Reyes said the incident offers many lessons.
“Get a good bike lock,” he said. “Don’t invest in something that’s really cheap, that’s an easy target for would-be criminals, invest in a good lock and use it.”
The Los Banos Police Department encourages avid bike riders to register their bikes with the department. The cost is $4 for a bike license and includes a description of the bike.
Norwood’s advice to others: “First, we all need to get a lock and keep an eye on stuff because you don’t really know what can happen. I learned that lesson.”