Steal a kid’s bike? You should be ashamed of yourself!

Young Shawn Lee holds the combination chain and lock that was the only thing left behind when a conscienceless thief stole the red 18-speed Venture he had just bought. Did you rip off a child? Do you know who did? What will it take to put a bike back in the hands or a child? Ideally, you care. David F. Rooney photo
David F. Rooney

Our is is a very strange culture. In a lot of places they’ll whack off a hand if you steal something — like a kid’s bike — but in ours nothing will likely happen to you at all.

I very much doubt that young Shawn Lee wants to see anyone lose a limb. The 12-year-old Mountain View School student is much too nice a kid for that. But you have to wonder about the mentality of someone who would just take something that doesn’t belong to him or her. I suppose I could have written this as a straightforward some-dastard-stole-a-child’s-bike-today kind of story but I can’t.

I remember being 12 years old and working hard to get the things I wanted. It was never handed to me on a silver platter and I know that Shawn and his parents work awfully darned hard to pay the bills and put food on the table. For Shawn, the bike was part of a very shrewd deal he wangled with the ladies at Back on the Rack last Thursday. He basically traded a bike with 20-inch wheels and seven speeds for a red Venture with 24-inch wheels and 18 speeds — a huge step forward for an active pre-teen.

He had been eyeing the red Venture for quite a time and on Thursday he clinched the deal and rode it away. That evening he chained it to what he optimistically describes as a “five-ton cement block” beside 308 First Street West where his family occupies the apartment above Areaworx.

He was ecstatic: he had made a great deal on a bike, secured it with a chain and a combination lock to a big cement block and it would be his to ride whenever he wanted. Not so.

“When I got up on Friday morning it was gone,” he said.

Some creep had come by and stolen it in the night.

Shawn and his parents went back to the shop to see if they had a record of the serial number and apparently there was none (and they had not yet gotten gotten around to even looking for one). Trusting in the judicial system, they said they filed a police report with the local RCMP detachment but… well let’s be kind. The cops are very overworked and it is unlikely that they are going to recover a red Venture with no serial number any time soon.

So that brings Shawn to the news media. He called The Current on Saturday in hope that we’d publish a story that might — just might — motivate someone to feel enough remorse to report its location. (I have to say the fact that a bike was stolen in Revelstoke is not major news. It happens hundreds of times each year — maybe more. But what struck me was the fact that a 12-year-old would have the intestinal fortitude… the chutzpa… to call a news organization and ask for help. After 35 years in professional journalism I can safely say that doesn’t happen every day!)

If you know this bicycle is please call Shawn at 250-814-9173 or 250-814-9258. If you have seen this bike and would like to see this boy get the bike of his dreams back please call. That’s all you have to do… worst comes to worst you can always call the RCMP at 250-837-5255.

Here’s a photo of a red Venture that might help:

The red Venture stolen from 12-year-old Shawn Lee was VERY similar to this. Please call 250-814-9173 or 250-814-9258 if you know where it is. Manufacturer's photo courtesy of Shawn Lee