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Boy robbed of bike gets new one
Thanks to some caring members of the community, a 10-year-old Yuma boy who had his bike stolen nearly two months ago while riding home from school with two of his friends now has a brand-new bicycle and helmet.
Noah McKnight received a huge surprise Monday when a command truck from the Yuma Fire Department and a Yuma Police Department patrol cruiser pulled up outside his Yowell Court home at about 3 p.m.
His mother, Tera McKnight, said she was very thankful and appreciative for the community's generosity, and to the firefighters and officers who made time in their busy day to present her son with the red BMX Mongoose bicycle.
“He is a little nervous right now,” McKnight said. “He thought he was in trouble. He didn't expect to get a bike today.”
Noah's bike, a Christmas present, was stolen at about at about 2 p.m. Feb. 23 as he and two of his friends were riding home from school. Students at Ronald Reagan Elementary School, they had decided to ride along the canal behind the school so they could stop and throw rocks into the water.
While he and his friends were playing, two men, both in the early 20s — one who was walking, the other on a bike — were also traveling along the canal. The man who was walking was the one who took Noah's bike.
Yuma police responded to the scene in less than five minutes, McKnight said, and searched the area for the suspects but did not find anyone.
McKnight told her son the police would be coming by Monday to ask him some more questions about their investigation and had him answer the door when Officer Cruz Vidal knocked.
Vidal, along with Battalion Chief Rod Reed, then asked Noah to come outside with them, where he saw bike was propped on its kickstand between the YFD command truck and YPD patrol vehicle, both of which had their emergency lights flashing.
Reed also gave Noah a bicycle helmet, reminding him to always wear it. After Reed helped him adjust the chin straps, Noah took his new bike for a spin through the apartment complex's parking lot.
“Thank you to everyone out there,” Noah said afterwards.
When asked if would ride along the canal again, Noah quickly answered “no.”
Relatives came out to see what all the excitement was about and were congratulating Noah on his new bike.
McKnight said she had saved her money and bought her son his first bike as a Christmas present. The Yuma Sun received numerous phone calls and emails after the story of the Noah's loss appeared in the paper and on YumaSun.com.
While the majority of the money used to buy the bike came from a winter visitor who wanted to remain anonymous, several others, some of whom are from other parts of the country, also donated money that was passed along to Noah's mother.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854.