Thief writes apology note, returns Prince George boy's stolen bike

A Prince George boy has been reunited with his stolen bicycle after a sober second thought by the thief and help from members of Hell Yeah Prince George, a community group on Facebook.

The story began last week, when a small red mountain bike was stolen from the carport of a home in the city’s southwest, according to a July 3 post by Lisa De Hoog Haslett, the boy’s mother.

A few days after the bike was stolen, De Hoog Haslett spotted it in a photo posted to Facebook. In the photo, hanging from the bike’s handlebars was a large handwritten note signed, “anonymous bike thief.”

“Dear little boy or girl,” it began. “First and foremost, I am sorry for any grief I have caused in the last couple of days but I am now trying to return your bike to the proper home where it belongs. You see, I stole your bike the other night purely out of selfish convenience and due to my state of inebriation I cannot recall exactly which house it was … I think the lesson to be learned here is that you should never leave your bike out in plain view where drunken fools like myself can easily snatch it for a quick (and surprisingly fun) ride home.”

De Hoog Haslett recognized the bike immediately. What she didn’t recognize was its location, so she turned to the Hell Yeah Prince George Facebook group and posted the photo along with a plea for help.

Her request was posted at 9 p.m. on July 3.

The trail of responses on Facebook is as impressive as it is entertaining (sic. throughout):

“I think its by cn center,” came the first response, sent one minute later by Janelle Seitz.

“It’s by pinewood elementary,” wrote Katrina Breuer Bertrand one minute after that.

“Olds street,” she clarified a moment later.

Within four minutes of De Hoog Haslett’s message, the location of the bike had been narrowed-down to the hundred block and cross street.

De Hoog Haslett posted a message less than half-an-hour later stating she had recovered the bike.

“Hell yeah, PG!! Got it,” it read. “Thanks for the quick response! This city can make a bad situation better in no time.”

But before she left the scene, De Hoog Haslett left behind her own note for the apologetic pedal pincher.

“Dear Anonymous Bike Thief,” read the note. “Thank you for your attempt at making it right. My son has been miserable since he discovered his bike missing. Thanks!”

The note was signed, “A soon to be happy boy’s mama.”

The bike had been left a few blocks from its home, wrote De Hoog Haslett later.

"Yay!! Way to go anonymous bike thief!! So happy that you did the right thing and righted your wrong. This helps restore ones faith in humanity,” wrote Bernadette Parent Werrell.

 

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