Kirsten Peterson knew it couldn’t be good news when she noticed her shed door open Monday.
When she got home from work around 2:30 p.m., she found someone cut through the padlock with bolt cutters and swiped her 8-year-old son’s new Subrosa BMX-style bicycle.
The single parent of two was down when she called Pasco police to report the theft.
“It’s not the first time I’ve had to file a report about someone stealing items,” she said. “It’s disheartening. I know people have struggles, but I never said, ‘Hey I’m going to steal from someone.’ It’s obvious that this was a kid’s bike.”
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It was the second time someone swiped a bike from her home in the neighborhood around Seventh Avenue and Clark Street.
This one was donated by the members of the Radioactive Subaru Club.
But Peterson’s luck began to change after Pasco police shared the story of Brodi Balke’s missing bicycle on Facebook.
“This happens to be a very important bike to a third grader with special needs,” Pasco police said.
Brodi made sure the bike was well-maintained, checked the tires and made sure it was tucked away from the elements. When he arrived home to find officers and his bike gone, he was in tears, devestated, Peterson said.
Officers were skeptical about whether the bike would turn up again. Sgt. Scott Warren said it’s very rare for police to find a stolen bike.
As the hours ticked on, people shared the police department’s Facebook post almost 300 times.
Several people offered to buy the boy a new bicycle, including several Pasco police officers.
Then the unexpected happened.
Police said two men, dressed in black, dropped the missing bike in front of a Hopkins Street home. They ran off into the darkness.
“Apparently, the thieves felt the heat!” Pasco police said. “Thank you to the citizen who called it in!”
Within a couple hours, Brodi came into her room to tell her about the Pasco police officer ready to make a special delivery.
“We were getting to go to bed when he comes into my room and says, ‘Mom. Mom. You’re not going to believe this.’” Peterson said. “There is an officer at my front door and she has his bike.”
The officer told the excited third grader that they heard someone was looking for the bike.
“And we just wanted to return it,” she said.
Peterson was grateful for the community support.
“It truly made his night,” Peterson said. “Brodi is so happy about it being returned home.”