DSS student gets his bike back for Christmas
Whatever Grinch stole Grade 9 Delta Secondary student Hayden Siltberg's bicycle is unknown, but the good news is that much like the Dr. Suess tale the bike has returned just in time for Christmas.
Hayden got the $1,500 black Trek mountain bike as a birthday present last March from Cap's Bicycles in New Westminster and would ride it to school every day.
"We're over by Ladner's Landing," says Tim Siltberg, Hayden's father. "So you could walk it of course but he really enjoys riding with his pals to school every morning."
But on Wednesday, Dec. 12, Hayden had forgotten his bike lock. Because he was worried about being late for class he tried to pretend it was locked up with the other bikes. When he got out of class, the bike was gone.
"It was a bike of opportunity, that's for sure," says Siltberg.
Everybody told him the bike was likely gone for good, either taken to another city or dumped somewhere after being stripped for parts.
Hayden was embarrassed by the incident so he didn't tell his parents right away. But after talking to a school counsellor he decided to report it to the police.
"He wanted to hope for the best that police would find it or it would turn up the next day or something. And of course it didn't."
When Hayden finally told his parents what had happened he seemed to feel so bad about it that Siltberg decided to roll into action.
"Ok, let's get the parent machine going here, and get the friends going. We're gonna find this thing."
Siltberg emailed the description of the bike to friends, to the U-15 soccer players he coaches in Ladner, and anybody else he could think of adding to the bike-hunting team.
That resulted in a dozen tips of everything from bikes being listed on Craigslist to sightings on the street.
"It was a very good response because you'd often think nobody's going to care. It's just a bike."
After scouring the streets and checking out the schools and parks for about a week, it looked like the bike was gone for good. But then on Dec. 18 they received a tip from the Corporation of Delta that a "pretty nice looking bike" had been brought in.
The bike had been found abandoned and brought to municipal hall where it was being kept by Tom Mayes, who manages a lost and found for bikes.
"I guess they took it for a joyride. They didn't damage it but it was a little wet and dirty."
Siltberg says Mayes told him there are a lot more bikes at municipal hall that people probably don't know are sitting there waiting to be picked up.
Reunited with his mode of transportation, Hayden went from feeling sheepish to overjoyed.
And more than that, says Siltberg, his son's faith in honesty and decency has been restored.
• If you are trying to track down your lost or stolen bike, call Tom Mayes at the Corporation of Delta at 604-946-5334.