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Thief steals bicycle from autistic woman
WRITTEN BY :   Eric Pierce

DOWNEY – An autistic Downey woman with the mental capacity of a 9-year-old is without transportation after her bicycle was stolen from a local mall.

Kayla Bailey is 21 but cannot drive due to autism. She received a custom pink and white Schwinn bicycle on Christmas that she used as her primary means of transportation.

“It was like a baby to me,” Kayla said. “It was my baby. I’d go everywhere with it. To see my friends, to the doctor’s…”

Kayla rode the bike to Stonewood Center on Monday afternoon, hoping to buy belated Valentine’s Day gifts for family members. She parked it outside Buffalo Wild Wings and secured it with a combination lock.

When she returned about an hour later, the bicycle was gone.

Stonewood security took Kayla around the property in search of the bike but it was no use.

“I was mad and sad and worried,” Kayla said.

Kayla had customized the bicycle with a bell and basket. It still had its red Christmas ribbon attached.

The bicycle was reported stolen to Downey Police but even with a serial number, there is not much hope the bike will be recovered.

In the meantime, Kayla is stuck at home without a way of getting around. There’s an old bicycle in the garage she said, but “It’s my dad’s and it’s from the ’70s.”

Kayla remains optimistic her bicycle will be returned.

“Please find my bike,” she pleaded. “And please give it back to the owner. That would be me.”

Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013, WEB ONLY
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