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Stolen tricyle that sparked actions of good Samaritans returned in Elderton

| Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 12:51 a.m.

A yellow tricycle stolen May 4 from a 28-year-old Elderton resident with special needs was returned on Friday.

The bike belonging to Shawn Blystone was brought to Mayor Larry Prugh's home at 201 S. Main Street by a juvenile. Elderton police are investigating and have not released the name of the minor.

“It has slight damage,” Prugh said. “There is a small scratch and the chain is off its track.”

The bike, which is at the borough office, is expected to be returned to Blystone by mid week.

Blystone's mother, Diana Arbuckle, said she was surprised to hear it had been brought back in one piece.

“I really thought it would be busted up,” she said.

When the story of the bike theft was made public, the Elderton borough office and police department received more than 20 calls from people offering to raise money or buy a new bike for Blystone. Two good Samaritans went ahead and each bought a new tricycle to replace the stolen one.

Now the family has to figure out whether the orders for the bikes can be canceled, or what to do with the unexpected gifts if they are delivered.

“I never in my life imagined that the public would react so swiftly and so overwhelmingly,” Prugh said. “People step up to the plate when someone is in need.”

The police will contact those who offered to help and see what their wishes are, Arbuckle said.

She said her son was happy to hear he would be getting his old bike back.

“He'd be happy keeping that one,” she said.

If the investigation proves juveniles had been behind the theft, Arbuckle said she would hope they might be given the chance to learn about people with special needs.

“I'm hoping something good will come out of this. Lessons need to be taught about what disadvantaged people go through,” she said.

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

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