VANCOUVER -- After a social media flurry and strangers reaching out to help, the Vancouver couple with developmental disabilities who had their tandem bicycle stolen now have it back - plus an extra.
Someone cut the lock and stole the bike off Harley and Courtney Forbes' front porch Monday night.
KGW interviewed the couple and posted about their plight on Facebook and Twitter. The couple's family also helped them file a police report and wrote about the theft on Craigslist, hoping someone might spot the bike and alert authorities.
On TV, Harley and Courtney talked about how losing the bike left them feeling devastated because neither of them can drive. They had recently spent $900 to buy it, which brought them extra freedom to get around.
"I felt happy [when Harley bought the bike] but now because it's gone, I'm sad. I don't know why someone who do that to us," Courtney said after it was stolen.
As it turned out, the thief had a change of heart - possibly after seeing the news coverage or reading about it on social media.
The couple said, just as mysteriously as the bike had vanished, it reappeared on Wednesday morning. This time, with a handwritten note attached. The note said "I bring this back 2 you because I am truly sorry and hope you can forgive me. I am trying to do the right thing." It was signed: "Guilty"
"The community outreach to the victims in this case has been nothing less than inspiring," said Kim Kapp with the Vancouver Police Department. "The widespread attention to these crime victims may have contributed to the momentary activation of the suspect's conscience."
She added that police were still working to find the thief and the return of the bike did not impact the investigation.
Bike also donated by strangers
To make this twist even more special, just the day before, a couple from Salmon Creek had donated their tandem bicycle to Harley and Courtney after hearing of their plight. So now they have not one, but two tandem bikes.
Harley and Courtney said they are very thankful, and that the couple who gave them the new bike wanted to remain anonymous but clearly seemed to get a charge out of the situation, too.
"Their eyes lit up when we walked into that garage and we saw the bike and were all so happy. Courtney started crying," said Harley Forbes. "Courtney told the lady, 'Thank you,' and started hugging her."
Bike missing since Monday
The bike was stolen from the Forbes' home at 3029 V Street sometime before 7 a.m. Monday. It had been locked to a large cement block but the thief cut through the lock.
Video captured on a neighbor's security camera shows a person walking off with what appeared to be the Forbes’ tandem bike.