MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A St. Paul college student is searching for his stolen bike, but not just any bike.
Larry Ross, 20, who is studying to be a director of Christian outreach at Concordia College, was born without legs and depends on his new handcycle. He says it taken from his home overnight, near Snelling and Taylor Avenue across from Hamline University.
About three months ago, fate handed Larry something he’s never had in his 20 years — a bike.
He found a deal on Craigslist for what’s known as an Invacare XLT Handcycle — what he calls expensive medical equipment for those who don’t have use of their legs. It is valued at about $2,500.
“I was born without legs due to Goldenhar syndrome,” explained Ross.
Goldenhar syndrome is a birth defect. Ross said his wheelchair is “a lot less comfortable than the bike, a lot harder on my back, (and) a lot dirtier, to be honest.”
The bike has taken him more than 900 miles in a few months, but now Ross is back to his wheelchair when he said someone stole his freedom overnight.
“It always sits on the front step, and the front wheel gets chained up to the front post there,” said Ross, who says his cable lock must have been cut, late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.
The bike was gone in a matter of minutes while Ross was inside. Now, Ross has filed a report with St. Paul Police and searched every block of his neighborhood. He has even put up flyers in many local businesses.
Whatever value the bike is to a thief, Ross can’t put a price on what once held his independence.
“It is my mode of transportation to be honest. I can get from here to Concordia campus in 12 minutes on the bike, where the wheelchair takes 30-35 minutes,” said Ross. “I just want the bike back to get back and forth to the places I need to go.”
Ross’ handcycle is blue with an orange flag and has three wheels. He provided a similar photo from the manufacturer’s website.
If you know anything about who may have taken it, call St. Paul Police.