Wichita boy’s stolen special needs trike returned, family grateful

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A stolen special needs trike has been returned to its owners.

“It means so much,” said Karen Wild.

Karen Wild and her family were driving from Nebraska to their Wichita home on Tuesday when they got a much anticipated call from police.

“He said ‘this is Officer Spalding with PD South, and we think we have your son’s tricycle,'” Wild explained.

Wild said she and her family immediately drove to the police substation to identify the trike. Sure enough, Wild said the trike was her son’s custom, AMBUCS trike.

“The more we looked and the more we inspected the more we became very, very certain,” Wild said.

Wild said the trike was stolen from the family’s fenced in front yard in College Hill on August 6. Since then, Wild has shared pictures of the trike on social media and put up missing flyers around town. KSN also did two stories about the stolen trike and the community’s support to get it back.

“We knew it was there because of the Facebook and because of the news coverage and everybody looking to the news coverage and to the Facebook story,” she said.

Wichita police said someone purchased the trike from another person outside a local laundromat. They said that person then rode it around town for several days, not knowing it had been stolen. They said the person then saw a missing flyer at a Wichita store and turned the trike into police.

“It means so much that he realized this and turned it in at a cost to himself. I just can’t express enough thanks for that, I really can’t,” Wild said.

Police would not release the name of the person who returned the trike. Wild said she is now working to track him down to properly thank him.

“I want to say thank you to him and I want to say that I really, really want to help him. I want to do everything I can to make sure he is not at a loss for this,” she said.

The trike was returned with several safety features missing. It was also partially painted a new color.

Air Capital AMBUCS, the nonprofit organization that originally donated the custom trike to Ellis, is now working to make the repairs.

“It’s missing a significant amount of stuff. Some of the stuff it’s missing is pretty important stuff, like the steering bar,” said Air Capital AMBUCS volunteer Brian Cavin.

Cavin said he will use parts from another trike, which was donated to AMBUCS after the first KSN story, to make Ellis’s trike complete.

“It’s going to be a wonderful thing. He’s going to be able to get back up on the road in no time,” Cavin said.

All of the money donated to AMBUCS in Ellis’s name will also go toward additional repairs. If there is any money left over, Cavin said it will go toward funding another child’s trike.

Wichita police said they’re still looking for the trike thief. They would not say how much the person bought the trike for.


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