MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A special bike for a special needs teen has been stolen. Now his family hopes you can help find it.
"Most people know him by Bubba. Bubba man. You know, 'Hey Bubba how you doing?' His name is Beorn out of the book, 'The Hobbit.' But he's mostly Bubba," said Stephanie Rankin, Beorn's mother.
Beorn Rankin is one of just 50 kids in the world with the same rare genetic condition.
"He is 14, but developmentally like a 1-year-old," said Stephanie. "He's just that sweet innocence."
As part of his physical therapy, his mother saved up to buy him a used special needs bike.
"It's that range of motion. We're not just sitting in a chair. His legs are moving. He's moving leg muscles, he's working core muscles, coordination," said Stephanie.
This type of equipment is expensive, but worth it for the boy's parents.
"It's hard to tell what he likes and when he does not like. When we go out on the bike, he is always smiling. So there's that very affirmative 'I enjoy this activity,'" said Stephanie.
The bike was stored in the backyard of the family's home near Gilbert Road and Southern Avenue in Mesa. Sometime over the weekend, they say someone cut the lock on the back gate and let themselves in.
They left with just one item. Beorn's bike.
"You feel very violated, beyond just the aspect that they stole from me. Somebody was in my space," said Stephanie.
She says it's awful a person could steal from someone like her son.
"They took something that was precious to us, beyond just the fact that it was my hard-earned money to get it for him," said Stephanie. "It's not just a Walmart bike I can go buy for $100. It's so much more than that. It's not replaceable in that aspect."
They're hoping the person will return the bike, no questions asked.
She has filed a police report. Mesa PD says if you know anything, give their non-emergency line a call at 480-644-2211.