Surveillance video: thieves strike disabled brothers

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by Crystal Cruz

azfamily.com

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 15 at 6:08 AM

PHOENIX -- Two disabled brothers are the latest victims of bike thieves in Phoenix.

"The cable was cut in two by bolt cutters," said Freddie Tipfer.

Tipfer is steaming mad because someone stole his tricycle last month from outside of a Wal-Mart in Phoenix.

Tipfer’s brother James was with him.

James’ tricycle was also stolen.

"They really hurt Freddie far more than they hurt me," said James.

Freddie has emphysema and can barely walk outside of his apartment without getting winded.

Doctors recommend Freddie exercise his lungs by riding a bike.

The men used their tricycles for errands like picking up groceries.

"It sucks. It's the pits. We can't go anywhere. I can walk the dogs but he can't. He gets out of breath just going down to our unit for dinner every day," said James.

The brothers are retired on a fixed income barely getting by.

They splurged and bought the two bikes for $1,100.

Tim Ferguson with Landis Cyclery in Phoenix recommends a heavy duty bike lock, not a thin cable lock the men used to tie up their tricycle.

Landis Cyclery has offered the brothers 10 percent off new bikes but the men said they just can't afford them right now.                                                          

The Tipfers are hoping someone will donate used or new tricycles to them. 

"I typically tell my customers whenever you use a cable lock you have five to 10 minutes of security," said Ferguson.

Now the two men are forced to stay home.

"I feel like sitting in that condo like a bunker house. Ok I need to get around," said Freddie.

Email Crystal Cruz your contact information if you would like to help them and she will pass it along.

ccruz@azfamily.com

After the 4:30pm story aired we spoke to salesman at Landis Cyclery who confirmed an anonymous donor paid for two new bikes for the men.

Call police if you know who the men in the surveillance video are.

 

 

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