The evening our bikes got stolen, our family of four enjoyed some time in the front yard, Baby Grant and I watched as George helped Julia pedal her tricycle up and down the sidewalk. It was the end of July and Grant was only a few days old, so we were in that hazy, sleep-deprived state that all new parents go through. Eight o’clock came around, and we went into the house to begin Big Sister’s bedtime routine. I remember that Grant was particularly fussy throughout the night, so I was up with him, dozing in the rocking chair up in his room.
The next morning found me fast asleep in our bed, only to be awakened by George using a disgusted tone of voice I rarely hear him use: “Our bikes are gone. I forgot to close the garage door.”
I was so embarrassed and tired that I didn’t even come downstairs to hear George talk to the police officer about our “home invasion.” We were very lucky that they didn’t take anything else in the garage, and we were extremely lucky that they didn’t enter our home and do unimaginable damage.
So we chalked it up to just that: a little lucky and a little unlucky. We felt foolish for leaving our garage open, and disillusioned that this could happen in our neighborhood. I was angry that we should have to lock our doors, that there are people in this world who would just walk into someone’s private property and take what isn’t theirs. We didn’t tell too many people what had happened, but the people we did tell all had similar responses:
1. They’d had a bike stolen at some point in their lives.
2. They never got it back.
Well, last week we got a phone call from our village police. They found my bike! Apparently, the thief dumped my bike in our neighborhood park, probably shortly after they had taken it. It stayed there for a week until someone called the police in early August to report an abandoned bicycle. The police picked it up, dusted it for fingerprints, and waited until January to give us a call to tell us my bike had been found.
There are just a few scratches on it, but it seems in pretty good condition for a bike that has been missing for six months. George’s bike is still missing, but he has already bought a new one. We are looking forward to some family bike rides as soon as it warms up. I don’t really know what to think about this situation. I’m thankful that I got my bike back, but I wish we didn’t have to go through it in the first place. Thank goodness for observant neighbors!