Cape Coral Police replace stolen bike

Posted at 7:23 PM, Apr 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-01 19:23:54-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- A Cape Coral boy got a special gift, Friday, after his bike was stolen by a bully.

Young Jonny Yarter gave his mom a big thumbs up, as he took his brand new bike for a spin Friday morning. This comes just a few weeks after his last bike was stolen from him in Cape Coral.

"It got stolen on Del Prado, near the hospital," said Jonny.

The bike was given to him by a driver after he accidentally hit him. Jonny's mom, Tammy, said the young thief stole her son's bike in the worst way.

"He didn't know him. He was just riding to meet a friend in Caloosa, getting off the bus, and the kid asked him if he could do a trick on his bike and the trick was he took it," she said.

Corporal Raymond Schilke with the Cape Coral Police Department felt a special connection to this case.

"Seeing him cry that day with his mom holding him, in front of two other boys," Schilke said, "I have a son. I wouldn't want him to feel that way. He didn't just steal his bike, he stole his dignity."

The officer felt he had to do something based on his own life experience, telling Fox 4 he himself had his bike stolen as a kid.

That's when he took to Facebook asking his Masonic Lodge to help. Within 20 minutes, Schilke found enough people to help cover the cost of the bike.

He told Jonny he was taking him to look for his bike, Friday morning, when in reality, he was being taken to Hollywood Bicycle Center to pick out a brand new bike.

Jonny chose a black bicycle with army green handles, which he didn’t hesitate to jump on in the parking lot.

Schilke said he wants Jonny to take away a life lesson from the incident. “This needs to go on and be something he never forgets so that one day he'll do the same thing for somebody else,” he said.

He suspect was arrested thanks to witness testimony and surveillance video. However, Schilke wants him to know something as well. “It’s not too late for the suspect. I even told him when I was taking him to jail yesterday, if he wants help he can contact me. He doesn't have a father..I'm willing to help him just as much as I'm willing to help the victim.”