A Washington couple, Courtney and Harly Forbes, were shocked to learn Monday that their tandem bicycle had been stolen from their front porch while they were sleeping. The couple, who live with Courtney's mother, Kim Turner, in Vancouver, are developmentally disabled and use the bike to get around town. The $900 tandem bike is the only mode of transportation for the two, who do not drive.
"I don't like riding by myself, because I have anxiety. I like riding with my husband," Courtney said, adding that she is "really upset, sad, and I'm hurt" that the thieves stole their bike.
A neighbor's security camera, however, captured the thieves riding by on the stolen bike. In the video, three people go past, two of them on bikes, and shortly thereafter, all three ride past---one of them now on what looks like the Forbes's tandem bicycle. The thieves allegedly propped a rocking chair under a doorknob to the house to block anyone inside from opening the front door.
Surprisingly, Wednesday morning, one of the thieves returned the bike. It was damaged, but a note was attached. It read, "I bring this back 2 you because I am truly sorry and hope you can forgive me. I am trying to do the right thing." The note is signed, "Guilty."
But before the bike was returned, the couple's story appeared on the local news, sparking an outpouring of generosity for them via social media. A bank account was set up to collect donations, which surpassed the $900 goal in just two days, and a retired couple donated their own gently used custom tandem bike, valued at around $4,000, to the couple. Even though the Forbeses got their original bike back, the donators said they can keep the new one.
Police are still using their neighbor's security-camera footage in their investigation to determine who the thieves are. Kim Kapp of the Vancouver Police Department said that, in fact, "the widespread attention to these crime victims may have contributed to the momentary activation of the suspects' conscience." However, Kapp said, "the goal of the Vancouver Police Department is to make an arrest in this case."