Lifestyle & Human Interest

After Heartless Thief Steals 3-Year-Old's Bike, Homeless Woman Donates Brand-New Bike to Boy


A heartwarming tale of generosity in the face of uncertainty has come out of Rockland, Maine, after a series of happy events followed a very unhappy one, and the Rockland Maine Police Department is at the center of it.

On March 26, the first step to this tale was set in motion, and it was an unhappy event: A 3-year-old boy, riding to the store with his mother, left his bike outside the store while they went inside, and when they came back, it was gone.

The boy was heartbroken, and the police were notified of the theft. Surveillance cameras caught the thief on video, and police shared the images.

“On 03/26/2023, at approximately 5:40 PM, an individual (pictured below) riding a bicycle, stole a 3-year-old’s Spiderman bike, while the child was inside the store with his mother,” the Rockland Maine Police Department posted on Facebook on March 30. “The stolen bike is red, with Spiderman-themed graphics and training wheels.

“Rockland Police would LOVE to help facilitate the safe return of this child’s bike and have a chat with the individual pictured below.

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“Anyone with information is asked to contact Interim Deputy Chief Alex Gaylor at agaylor@RocklandMaine.Gov or by sending us a DM on this page.”

The bike wasn’t located, but someone saw the post and felt compelled to do something for the little boy. She went about her plan quietly and humbly.

“Last night, a superhero (who wishes to remain anonymous), stopped by the Rockland Police Department and donated a BRAND NEW Spiderman bicycle, matching helmet and bike lock for our young victim!” the Rockland Maine Police Department wrote in an update post. “The hero wanted nothing in return, but in speaking to one of our officers, we learned a little about her own recent struggles that made this gesture even more heart felt.

“The woman, who lives all the way in Oxford County, saw our post and felt as if she just had to do something to help. Unfortunately, she was recently forced to choose between making her rent or vehicle payment… Not wanting to default on the car loan, she is now currently unhoused and living out of her vehicle. Her own struggles did not deter the woman however; and she selflessly purchased a new bike, helmet and lock at a local Wal-Mart and made the drive to Rockland. The women’s generosity was contagious and a clerk who heard what she was doing, gave her money to help pay for tolls.

“Today officers were happily able to hand over the donated bike and equipment to the victim’s mother; who was overwhelmed by the generosity of others.”

The police department also shared that they — like all law enforcement agencies — are prohibited from raising money in an official capacity, so they couldn’t crowdfund for the very deserving hero, but an organization called the Mid-Coast Recovery Coalition heard the story and decided to do something about it.

The Mid-Coast Recovery Coalition also found out more about the woman’s story and her general selflessness: Apparently when she lost her job and could no longer afford her apartment and car, the reason she chose to keep her car over the apartment was because her daughter-in-law had cosigned for the car, and she didn’t want to damage her daughter-in-law’s credit.

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The group hopes to raise enough money to get the good Samaritan back into an apartment, and so far they’ve raised $1,170 towards that goal, according to their website.

“As of April 6, you have donated $1170 for this wonderful lady!” they wrote. “Keep it coming!!”

Vitriol and bashing can become contagious online, but thankfully blessings and generosity can, too.

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