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Elderton thief steals vital part of man's life

| Thursday, May 8, 2014, 12:26 a.m.
Brigid Beatty
Shawn Blystone, 28, of Elderton, holds a picture of his yellow tricycle which was stolen from the back porch of his home this week. The bike was Blystone's only mode of transportation, as a physical limitation makes him unable to drive a car.

For the past five years, 28-year-old Elderton resident Shawn Blystone has relied on an adult-sized yellow tricycle to get around town.

But Blystone, who has a disability that makes him unable to drive a car, was robbed of that independent mobility on Sunday when someone stole the bike from the back porch of his home along Lytle and Keeler streets.

When asked what he would say if given the chance to speak directly to those responsible, Blystone said: “It's a rotten thing you did.”

Blystone attends the Armstrong County Progressive Workshop in Kittanning and works as a dish washer at Tina's Log Cabin Restaurant along Route 422 just outside Elderton.

His mother, Diana Arbuckle, said her son is unable to drive a car and needs the bike for getting around locally because he has issues with balance caused by inner ear problems.

Arbuckle said her father bought the bike at an auction. She is worried about the expense of replacing the specialty bike.

“They're not cheap,” she said.

The last time Blystone used the bike was on Sunday afternoon when he cycled to Elderton Country Market to buy a piece of cheesecake. When he returned home, he parked it as usual on the back porch.

But in the morning, the only remaining traces of the bike were the wheel marks left behind on the dewy grass leading away from the house.

Blystone is a soft-spoken man with a shy smile. He misses his bike and said he will have to walk to the store and the post office from now on.

He and his family are hoping the bike will be returned by those who stole it, or from folks who might come across it abandoned somewhere.

“Please bring my bike back,” Blystone said.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303.

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