More than a dozen bikes used by Wounded Warriors are missing from a facility and the Navy is looking for the public’s help in finding them.
The 16 missing bikes are valued at $10,000 and have a Semper fi sticker or the have the words “Ride to Recovery” written on them.
To many of the veterans that use them, the bikes are a way to get out of a hospital bed and feel normal, if only for a moment.
“This is freedom from being in the hospital,” said Adam Powlawski, a wounded Marine. “This is freedom breaking out of your room. This is freedom from depression."
Wounded Warriors use these bikes to manage their injuries and post-traumatic stress.
During Powlawski’s deployment to the Middle East, he injured his leg. He said he doesn’t know if he’ll ever completely recover.
“It's life altering and you're never going to be the same and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it changes the way you think and look at life,” said Powlawski. “To get out and to escape that and to feel normal again and be out in society this has really helped me a lot."
Tuesday, Wounded Warriors woke up to find the bikes stored in their shed gone, despite the fact that both locks were still intact.
“It hurt me a lot that somebody stole from my fellow Marines, my fellow service members everybody that's here that used this program for part of healing,” said Jamie Rihn, Project HERO Naval Medical Center San Diego Balboa Manager.
Naval Base Police is investigating the theft. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact them at (619) 556-1527.
“To take from us, it's just unfathomable,” said Powlawski.