Damian's back on his bike
An autistic boy has his stolen bike back after it was found abandoned in a dumpster.
Damian West, who also has global developmental delay, was devastated when his bicycle was snatched on the night of his birthday.
The mountain bike was a gift from his granddad because 15-year-old Damian had just learnt how to ride.
A man found it thrown into a dumpster in Sunnybrae and handed it in to police on July 3.
Beach Haven Community Constable Grant Kenny says police think the bike was abandoned after the thief saw the article about Damian's plight in the North Shore Times on July 1.
"It's a good result all around. It's made Damian's day which makes it all worthwhile."
Kenny says police are following some strong leads.
He visited Damian at Wairau Valley Special School to return the fixed bike.
Damian says he is happy and is going to ride it every day.
Bike Barn Albany mechanic Jack Scull cleaned the bike and fixed its broken chains.
He says it is about being part of the community.
Police do quite a few charity events and the company is more than happy to help out, he says.
Both the North Shore Times and police were flooded with offers of support for Damian.
Readers throughout the area offered to buy the Glenfield resident a new bike or start a collection for him.
Mum Toni Brooks says she was shocked when she got the good news from police.
"I never thought it would actually work . . . he's just going to be riding it every day."
She says she will be keeping the family's bikes inside from now on.
A green Crazy Horse bike with rusty handlebars also went missing from the family's Chivalry Rd carport and has not been found.
Call North Shore police on 477 5000 or call the anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 if you have information about the theft.
North Shore Times