'Someone just stole my legs,' Disabled Vernon man has trike stolen - InfoNews

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'Someone just stole my legs,' Disabled Vernon man has trike stolen

Maurice Strong is appealing after having his specialized bike stolen.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Caitlin McKenny
May 15, 2019 - 6:00 AM

VERNON - Maurice Strong describes having his bike stolen as like someone stealing his legs.

Strong uses a wheelchair and can't drive, so his three-wheeled recumbent tricycle is his lifeline to the outside world. Sometime in the early hours of May 13 thieves took off with Strong's bicycle from outside his Alexis Park Drive apartment.

"I usually throw a lock around it," Strong said. But hidden from view and with a cover over it, that night he didn't.

Strong said he has brain damage and no balance, but he can ride a recumbent tricycle. He attaches his wheelchair to the rear of the bike and with daily use put's a few hundred kilometres on the trike each week.

"I'm not able-bodied so those things are pretty much my legs," Strong said. "It's like... someone just stole my legs."

He purchased the yellow TerraTrike in 2013 and estimates the hi-tech piece of equipment would cost around $4,000 to replace.

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP have recently reported a surge in bicycle theft in the city and advise residents to be diligent in securing their bikes.

Strong is clearly emotional about his loss and desperate to get it back. His lack of balance means he's not able to ride a regular bike, so can't simply buy a cheap replacement. It also has a huge amount of sentimental value and meaning to him. When he moved from Winnipeg to Vernon in 2015 he didn't take a flight.

"I sold my furniture, packed up some clothes and rode my bike to B.C.," the 38-year-old said. He completed the 2,300-kilometre trip solo, camping most nights along the way.

For Strong, the bike is much more than just a bike.

"[It's] physical and mental therapy all in one shot," he said.

Anyone with any information should call. Vernon North Okanagan RCMP on 250-545-7171. File number: 2019-9623.

Strong tows his wheelchair behind his bike.
Strong tows his wheelchair behind his bike.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Caitlin McKenny

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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