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Thieves steal $5K worth of sporting equipment meant for disabled athletes

By Andrew Wittenberg | Posted - Apr 27th, 2013 @ 10:20am

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MIDVALE — Police are looking for the person who broke into a Midvale rec center and stole $5,000 worth of sports equipment — including bikes for the blind and physically disabled.

The Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Department reported three tandem bicycles and a hand cycle taken from the storage unit of the Copperview Recreation Center. Employees arrived to work Monday to find the lock on the door of the storage unit completely gone — along with the bikes and other equipment.

This came just three weeks before the county was set to begin a program designed specifically for blind cyclists.

"Blind cyclers would need a tandem bike so their guide can be on the front and they can be the power from behind," said Susie Schroer, the department's adaptive recreation coordinator. "It felt like somebody just sucker punched us."

It felt like somebody just sucker punched us.

–Susie Schroer, adaptive recreation coordinator

The hand cycle that was stolen was donated to the program by paralympian and Salt Lake resident Muffy Davis. She won three gold medals last year in London.

"She loves the sport of hand cycling and would love to see more people involved with it as well," said Schroer.

The thieves left behind an empty case of beer and something Unified police said could lead to an arrest — some unopened mail.

The Salt Lake County Adaptive Recreation Program will keep providing services to blind and disabled athletes — even when some are attempting to disable them even more.

"Knowing that this equipment goes specifically for people with disabilities, that hit was a little harder," said Schroer.

The tandem road bicycles are quite unique, as is the hand cycle. There was also some golf equipment specially made for disabled athletes stolen.

Anyone with information about the stolen equipment is asked to contact the Unified Police Department.


Andrew Wittenberg

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