PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Gabriel Lopez, who survived a traumatic brain injury, used money from a special needs fund to buy a new electronic bicycle. But that e-bike was stolen in Northeast Portland within 90 minutes after he bought it.
Lopez told KOIN 6 News the theft happened a few weeks ago. He locked it up outside New Seasons on NE 33rd and soon it was gone.
“About an hour-and-a-half after I had bought it I rode it to New Seasons, where I had worked” for many years, he said. He was excited to show it to some of his former co-workers.
“Neither of them were there so I walked around and then went back to where I had locked my bike up,” he said. “Someone had cut the pole in half and my bike was gone.”
He called the police and listed the e-bike serial numbers on a city-wide bike theft page. He also made signs that he stapled across the neighborhood — but still no sign of the bike.
The e-bike would help him get to work without becoming too exhausted, which is one of the long-term side effects of his brain injury.
“It would’ve helped me going further distances, like, if I had found a job that was as far as Belmont or Hawthorne,” he told KOIN 6 News. “It would be helpful to get me there.”
A GoFundMe page was started to help him raise money for a new bike.
“There’s got to be other ways that people can make money. Whoever stole the bike, I don’t think they realized who they stole it from and why that person had it. They just saw a lot of opportunity to make a lot of money and took the bike. They didn’t know who they were cheating or stealing from,” Lopez said. “I don’t know if that would make a difference to them. Hopefully it would.”
The case remains open. Anyone with information is asked to contact Portland police.