A man who has a mobility disability had his chief form of transportation stolen on Tuesday, March 22, sparking a nearly 32-hour hunt by East Palo Alto officers for the misappropriated tricycle, the police department said.
David Werner uses a hand-propelled tricycle for persons with disabilities to get around. The trike, which is valued at $1,500, is normally secured at his home. But it was inadvertently left unlocked in his driveway at his home in the 2300 block of Palo Verde Avenue due to a miscommunication with his caregiver, police Commander Jeff Liu said.
Officers from the East Palo Alto Police Department arrived at Werner's home at 12:44 p.m. and canvassed the area, but they were unable to locate the bike.
Werner created a flyer and police posted it on the department's Facebook page asking the community to be on the lookout for the tricycle. Community members responded to the police bulletin, sending tips to the department.
Officers embarked on a citywide search that lasted until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday. That's when police Sgt. Clint Simmont, who was searching dead end streets for the tricycle, located it in the 1200 block of Weeks Street. It was unattended, Liu said.
Police returned the tricycle to Werner, who was very appreciative and relieved to get it back, Liu said.
Police Chief Albert Pardini has been working with his officers and the community to gain the public's trust and to get residents to help police solve crimes. On Thursday, Pardini lauded the community response and the work of his staff.
"My officers knew how devastating it would be for a person with mobility issues to lose their primary mode of transportation, so they made the extra effort and used time between calls to find the tricycle, he said." "This is another example of their commitment to our community."
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the East Palo Alto Police Department by sending an anonymous email to firstname.lastname@example.org; sending an anonymous text to 650-409-6792 or leaving an anonymous voice mail at 650-409-6792.