A mentally disabled woman who has trouble walking had her adult-sized trike stolen this week from behind a Red Deer seniors’ lodge.
An industrial-strength lock and chain had secured the bike to a pole, but thieves cut through the chain on Sept. 7 and took the trike, said a dismayed Jenny Torgerson of Red Deer.
Now her sister, Judy Wallace, 64, has to depend on the Action Bus to get around, Torgerson added.
Wallace is intellectually disabled, has diabetes and mobility problems. Torgerson said her sister lived on her own until she recently moved into the Parkvale Lodge, near the Red Deer arena.
She added that Wallace received the trike on Aug. 22 as a gift from their other sister from Calgary, who wanted to give her some independence and means to stay connected within the community.
“She loved to pedal it to the coffee shop or grocery store… It was the only exercise she got.”
Wallace continues to be upset about the loss. “There is a silent sadness about her now. She’s not angry, her heart is just sick,” said Torgerson. “I’m so disappointed for her.”
Torgerson had been hearing about people’s cars and bikes being stolen in the city, so tried to have the large trike stored either inside Parkvale Lodge or in a shed overnight, but these requests could not be accommodated.
Since Wallace is living on a low disability income, she can’t afford to buy a new trike and the cost of the stolen one is less than the insurance deductible. Torgerson said the family will have to come together to replace the bike next spring if it isn’t recovered.
She remarked on how times have changed in Red Deer: “We used to just leave our bike on the lawn (of the recreation centre) while we went for a swim” — and still find them lying on the grass when it was time to pedal home.
Anyone with information about Wallace’s trike can reach Torgerson at 403-343-2577 or call Red Deer RCMP. Police are commending Wallace for having the trike’s serial number and photograph, which will make it easier to locate the property.