A group of disabled students at San Jose's Piedmont Hills High School are upset and puzzled over the theft of more than a dozen bicycles and tricycles taken from a storage shed behind their school.
Adaptive P.E. teacher Brian Ward told NBC Bay Area on Wednesday that the two- and three-wheeled cycles meant a lot to the kids, who have a range of disabilities from Down's syndrome to autism. He discovered them missing on Monday.
"These are a huge deal to them," Ward said. "They raise their self-esteem. They truly enjoy those bikes."
When Ward went to work at the school on Piedmont Road this week, he discovered a lock on a storage shed behind the school had been cut. When he peered inside, he discovered that about 15 bikes and trikes valued at a total of about $1,500 were gone. He figured they were taken some time over the weekend.
He called San Jose police, and on Wednesday, was completing paperwork to file a full report. Police confirmed there was a burglary report filed over the weekend from the school.
Ward allowed the students to ride the bikes as a reward after their regular workouts. Mainstream students used the bikes, too.
Now, Ward is left wondering why someone would have done this. His students, he said, are just "heartbroken."
If anyone has information about the stolen bikes, they should call San Jose police at 408-277-4401.
Contact Lisa Fernandez at 408-432-4758 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at Twitter.com/ljfernandez.