By Tara Vocino
Next-door neighbors and the police department decided to help when they heard about a family whose only method of transportation was allegedly stolen from them – their bike off their indoor front porch – on Dehon Street last Monday afternoon.
“I appreciate and thank them,” mother Qin Li Yan said Wednesday night.
Yan uses the Fuji Valite Japanese-made bike to transport her sons, Bowen and Albert, with a Schwinn child carrier on back.
Next door neighbor Ira Novoselsky, who is Ward 2 Councillor, felt badly when he saw the news on Facebook. He contacted Bicycle Officer Gerry Salvati, who had extra helmets on hand that were left over from summer distribution. I asked him to be on the lookout for the red bike,” Novoselsky said late Wednesday. “I also asked him about at least replacing the stolen helmet, which he did. Thank you, Officer Gerry Salvati.”
Salvati, who added that they don’t have any leads, said they all met at Saturday’s Cultural Fest on Shirley Avenue and delivered the helmets to the family.
“It’s a nice feeling to be able to help two small children,” Salvati said Wednesday afternoon inside the station. “I felt badly that the bike was their only form of transportation. They’re very nice people.”
Salvati said they interviewed neighbors to ask if they heard or saw anything, but a week later, police still don’t have any leads. He added that Dehon Street isn’t a hot spot for stolen bikes or property.
“We’d love to find it, and ask for anyone with information to come forward,” Salvati said.
Salvati advised residents to lock up their valuables with a lock or chain and to use caution. He added that he’s willing to start a fundraiser for the Yan family to buy a new bike. He said there’s a Boston organization that gives bikes to needy families, but the police department can’t distribute their abandoned bikes since they’re still someone’s property.
Anyone with information is being asked to call police at 781-284-1212 or contact Qin Li Yan via Facebook.