Delight as teenager with autism's trike replaced after burglary

“They have totally restored our faith in people”

By Stephen Briggs
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 4:00 pm

A Peterborough mum has spoken of her delight after a specially adapted trike to help her teenage son was replaced after a burglary at her home.

Riley Height (14) was left devastated after the trike was stolen from his home in Edgcote Close in Peterborough over the weekend.

Riley has autism and a lipoma tumour wrapped round his spinal cord, and used the trike to go on rides with his sister. His condition means he cannot walk long distances, and he uses a wheelchair.

Riley with Roy Freeman from Peterborough Veterans and his new trike

The trike cost around £300 – before special adaptations were made to fit with Riley’s needs.

Riley’s sister’s bike was also stolen in the burglary.

But since the burglary, kind hearted representatives from the Peterborough Veterans Association – who heard about the burglary on social media – have come forward and donated a replacement trike, so Riley can get back in the saddle.

Riley’s mum Joanne said the theft happened at some point on Saturday evening. She said; “This bike was stolen from a garage along with his little sisters bike on Saturday evening between 4 and 8pm from Westwood , Peterborough.

A trike similar to the one that was stolen

"A neighbour has said they believe they saw someone on the trike between 7pm and 8 pm near where they were stolen from.

"We are desperate to get the trike back because without it Riley will spend his summer in the house or his wheelchair as he struggles to walk any distance.

"This bike is his prized possession as it meant he could go out on a bike ride with his sister and older brother and be a part of what they were doing.

"I was devastated at first but now I’m just plain angry. I can’t understand why people break in and steal things that don’t belong to them.”

The trike donated by the Veterans Association will need some work to adapt it for Riley, but Joanne said she was grateful for the donation.

She said: “It was a trike they were going to use to raise funds for their group but they decided to donate it to Riley which is such a lovely thing for them to do as it means his summer will not be ruined.

"They have totally restored our faith in people and that in a time when people are struggling so much their are a lot more good people that are willing to help than bad.

“Once the weather has cooled a bit in a few weeks Riley is hoping to now do a small sponsored cycle around Westwood on the trike donated to raise funds for Peterborough veterans to thank them for their kindness.”

A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: “We are investigating a report that two bikes, a small children’s bike and an adult sized tricycle, were stolen from the garage of a house in Edgcote Close, Westwood, Peterborough between 3.40pm and 8.30pm on 16 July.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact police via their web chat service quoting crime reference 35/50823/22. Anyone without internet access should call 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.