ST. LOUIS - A Dogtown man who has special needs was hoping he’d get a trike for Christmas. And not a new one.
The trike belonging to Patrick Schneider, 63, was stolen more than a month ago when he was purchasing coffee from the Starbucks at the Cheshire Inn. He walked out of the coffee shop, and his prized possession was gone.
Scheider desperately wanted his bike back.
“I don’t know why they would take somebody’s handicapped bike,” he said. “I have a hernia. And I have a problem with my bad knee here. And I just use it for everything.”
Schneider is well known in the Maplewood, Hi-Pointe, and Dogtown neighborhoods, where he works as a handyman. The trike was his only mode of transportation.
When news of his stolen bike broke, neighbors stepped in.
A GoFundMe account was set up to raise close to $2,000 for a new electric trike, similar to the one that was stolen.
“Everybody was shocked, first of all, that somebody would do that, to someone like Patrick,” Adam Hess, a man who works near the Cheshire Inn, said.
Just a week before Christmas, Schneider was informed that the owner of a Maplewood business would cover the remaining $500 to fund the cost of the new trike.
The bike was purchased, with Big Shark on Big Bend Boulevard assembling it for Schneider.
“This is like, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ with Jimmy Stewart. And I’m Jimmy Stewart, and here are all these people, who came together, and put this together for me, so I can have my mobility,” he said.
The original bike that was stolen belonged to a friend of Schneider. While he wishes he could find the bike because of its sentimental value, he said he is grateful for the generosity of friends, businesses, and strangers.
“I want to thank the whole neighborhood for people that came through. Who have seen me over the years and know I’m a hard worker. I have a lot to be thankful for,” he said.