A thief broke into the garage of a Ladera Heights apartment Thursday and stole a bicycle belonging to a man with quadriplegia.
Patrick Ivison, a graduate of the University of Southern California’s film school, was working a post-production job away from home when his landlord texted him about the break-in, which was captured on a security camera.
"My girlfriend and I just moved to the area and just got settled enough to where we were going to go and do our first local bike ride," Ivison said.
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The custom handcycle is valued at over $2,000 and was donated by the charity group Athletes Helping Athletes.
"The handcycle is my main form of cardio … I can’t use a treadmill or a regular spin bike so I take it out and ride around," Ivison said.
After Ivison’s mother Jennifer learned about the crime, she posted images of the thief on her San Diego social media.
"I feel mad and I feel sad and then I’m annoyed that someone would do that, because it’s a specialized bike for someone who’s in a wheelchair and they’re not going to be able to use it," she said.
Jennifer Ivison witnessed the accident that left her son a quadriplegic at 14 months old. They were walking together when Patrick was struck by a distracted driver backing up.
The handcycle was the only item stolen from the locked garage, with a shattered bike lock and two other bikes left behind. But Patrick Ivison said that the thief took much more than a mobility device.
"It is my version of a bike," he said. "I can go bike riding with my girlfriend or with other friends and have a sense of freedom and camaraderie I don’t get otherwise."
Anyone with information about the thief or the handcycle’s location can contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Pacific Division, at (310) 482-6334.