Theft of trailer containing sports equipment for disabled puts programs in jeopardy
About $20,000 worth of sports equipment was stolen from the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living some time between Sunday evening and Monday morning, police said.
Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush said police responded at 10:10 a.m. Monday to the center, 3941 Research Park Drive, after employees discovered a trailer containing handcycles and other bikes for handicapped people had been stolen.
Bush said an unknown person or people broke the tongue-lock off the trailer and used a vehicle to tow it away from the area.
“They didn’t just steal something off our property, but they’ve taken away the opportunity for people to be in this program,” she said.
Grawi characterized the theft as both shocking and sad. The equipment in the trailer was used primarily to help disabled people participate in cycling programs that are put on frequently by the center in warmer weather.
Among the programs is a four-day ride from Lake Michigan to Ann Arbor that the center puts on every year. All of the programs are now in jeopardy, Grawi said.
“It’s always so surprising when we try to do the right thing for the community and someone does the wrong thing,” she said. “It’s really sad.”
Bush said a theft such as this makes her feel sick and she urged whoever took the equipment to return it.
"For the people who are at the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living, this is important stuff to them," she said.
"This is special sports equipment and whoever has it needs to return it," she added.
Bush said the trailer itself was worth about $5,000 and the equipment inside of it was worth between $15,000 and $20,000. However, employees from the center are still compiling a complete list of stolen equipment and Grawi estimated the theft would cost the center about $30,000 in total.
Jim Magyar, the center’s chief executive officer, discovered the theft when he came into work this morning. Grawi said her immediate reaction when told the news was, “Wow, who would do that?”
“First of all, what is going on in this day and age when people are stealing things all the time?” she said. “Second, we’re a nonprofit; we’re a non profit and this is stuff for people with disabilities.”
She added, “Maybe they think they were only stealing a trailer or bikes, but they don’t know what they are and the value to the community.”
Anyone with information on the theft is encouraged to contact the Ann Arbor Police Department anonymous tip line at 734-794-6939.
Courtesy of AACIL
Update: Grawi sent a list of the stolen items to AnnArbor.com Monday afternoon. The handcycles that were stolen are a yellow Quickie Shark with x-link fork, a green Invacare XLT with quad grip cranks, an orange Invacare Topend Excelerator XLT Pro, a black Invacare Topend XLT (older model) and a purple Quickie Mach 2.
The leg-pedal trikes that were stolen are a blue Trailmate EZ Roll Regal, a green Freedom Concepts HSR-20, a pewter TerraTrike Short frame, a blue TerraTrike Long frame and a blue Worksman Personal Activity Vehicle PAV3. Grills, t-shirts and other misc items were also stolen, Grawi said.