Custom-made bike stolen from California child with cerebral palsy

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Damian Jeffries (right), a 13-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, had his custom-made bike stolen in Burbank on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2016.

Police say heartless thief stole a bike from a special needs child in Burbank, California.

Damian Jeffries, 13, who has cerebral palsy, pleaded for help as Burbank police tried to track down the suspect.

"Who would steal a handicapped kid's bike?" Damian asked.

Police said surveillance video showed a thief stealing the bike Saturday evening, as the man walked out of the lobby door of the Riverside Drive building with the bike.

But it wasn't just any bike, it was a custom made foot-and-hand-pedal bike worth more than $5,000.

"We wanted to make sure he had something to make him, as he says, 'more normal.' I hate the word normal, but normal like all the other kids. To be able to ride and get around," Damian's mother Allesha Jeffries said.

"It did make me feel like a normal kid because, like almost every kid rides a bike or a skateboard," Damian said.

Damian was born premature and with cerebral palsy. His mother was told her son suffered severe brain damage.

"His prognosis was pretty poor," she explained. "He would never walk or talk. They assumed he'd never eat on his own."

Damian overcame many obstacles and can do much more than walk, talk and eat on his own. That included riding his bike, until that was taken away from him.

"I work so hard to provide and give him things. I'm a single parent, on a single income. I work night shift away from him, as a nurse, and I do so much for others. And it's like, really? Why are you stealing from me?" Allesha Jeffries said.

"Either a jerk or desperate. Like I would understand if he had a handicapped kid," Damian said.

Allesha Jeffries had a heartfelt message for the man police said stole from her son.

"If you see this, return the bike. It's a crime, but return the bike. It's very important to him," she said.

Burbank police said since the bike is so valuable the suspected thief faces grand theft charges.

If you have any information that can help officials in their investigation, you are urged to call the Burbank Police Department at (818) 238-3000.
Related Topics:
newsbikesspecial needs childrencaught on cameracerebral palsyu.s. & worldtheftCalifornia
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