For Jayce Smith, cruising around his Mesa neighborhood not only gives him the freedom and independence any 13-year-old longs for, it also provides a sense of security, because he's visually impaired. "When I was on it, I could cross the streets faster, and now I can't see if the light on the other side has changed times or if it's counting down," he said.
This, after two of his longboards were swiped right off his family's front porch while their surveillance camera was recording early Sunday morning. The two suspects are seen tip-toeing, one after another, up to the residence and walking away with the boards. They're images that left Smith sick and saddened.
"I worked a few months to save up for the parts for that one, and the other one I had saved up a little bit of my money and some birthday money and that's what went into buying one of them too," he said.
It's a mode of transportation that Jayce depends on and works hard for as the neighborhood lawn boy. "I'm going to start saving up for more longboards. Hopefully more people in the neighborhood will start hiring me on every Saturday and I can get that money to buy them again," he said.
In the meantime, he's hopeful someone recognizes these bold bandits. The crime may have left him shaken, but he's determined to move on.
"They did definitely attempt to take away my safety, because when they took those longboards they took me safely getting around on time away," he said. "I'm definitely not going to let them succeed and will try my hardest to stay positive about it."
The Smiths are asking anyone with information to contact Mesa Police at (480) 644-2211.