Neighbors in Fairview Park, Ohio, have stepped up to replace an autistic man’s bicycle that was stolen from him November 5.
Twenty-five-year-old Jon Keith rides his bike to and from both his jobs at Savers Thrift Store and Marc’s in Rocky River every day.
However, when he went outside for his lunch break last week, his only mode of transportation was gone.
Surveillance footage from outside Savers reportedly showed a suspect, wearing a yellow safety jacket and construction hard hat, use bolt cutters to cut the bike’s padlock. The person then rode it to the nearby RTA Transit Center on Center Ridge Road.
“For someone to do something like this means that they have very low self-esteem and this is how they choose to live their life by taking from others,” Keith told Fox 8.
His father, Ted Keith, said the situation was difficult for his son to process.
“It was an extreme disappointment to hear the upset in his voice, and it was just very hurtful. My son does have autism and he’s seen the cruelness in society and in folks,” he commented.
Once the story aired on the local news, the community decided to turn a bad situation into a good one by offering to buy the young man a new bike.
The outpouring of concern was so big that his family decided to set up a GoFundMe page so people could donate.
“It’s been absolutely amazing. The police department called with folks that would like to meet him at the bike store,” his dad said.
“What a positive life –the outpouring of help, that people would like to help him, and get back on his wheels. There’s a lot of caring quality people in Northeast Ohio,” he concluded.
Sunday, the family wrote an update on the page to thank the community for their generosity.
“We purchased an Orange Giant Talon 2 bicycle, a kickstand, lock, lights and water bottle holder from Century Cycle in Rocky River. We thank everyone for their kindness and generous donations,” the page read.
One donor stated that “Jon always puts my groceries in my car on Sundays at Marc’s. We always chat, he is always so upbeat and happy. He makes my day.”
“Jon needs to know that good will always prevail,” another concluded.