VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Someone stole a tricycle from a Virginia Beach girl suffering from cerebral palsy Friday night. The bike was customized to fit her needs.
"She's very sweet," said Melanie's mother, who asked WAVY.com not to publish her name. "She loved to ride the bicycle."
Melanie's mom showed WAVY.com pictures of Melanie, 12, riding around Mount Trashmore and down the boardwalk at the Oceanfront. She says it is one of Melanie's favorite outdoor activities.
But like Melanie, her set of wheels is a little bit different. For one thing, there are three wheels instead of two.
"What it does is it stands up so she doesn't fall over, because she struggles with balance," said neighbor Jessica Cenobio. "It folds up for storage because it's a bigger bike than regular ones."
The tricycle fit all of Melanie's special needs. Cerebral palsy limits her speech, mobility and balance. Mom saved $300 to make sure she could ride with the rest of the kids.
"It's very hard to have a child with special needs," said her mother. "To live everyday and try to make it normal."
Friday night she discovered Melanie's bike was no longer next to the porch in their gated backyard. Someone had taken it.
"I feel so angry, so mad, you know," said Melanie's mother. "I want to see the people who stole the bike and say 'Why did you do it? Why didn't you come over and ask me, if you need $5?' I can do it. Don't come take my daughter's bike."
The family's parents told WAVY.com on Monday a local bike shop owner had donated a bike to Melanie. Her family says viewers should donate directly to CHKD if they wish to help. Melanie receives physical therapy treatment there.
Wet weather is expected to move into the area over the weekend, forcing some areas to cancel or change their holiday events.
Four vehicles were involved in a crash on Route 17 in Gloucester Friday morning.
Hampton Police want to prevent crime and have remixed a holiday classic to deter thieves from being Grinches.