‘It means a great deal’: Disabled Air Force veteran in Wilmington’s stolen bike is found

A disabled veteran asked the community to help find one of his treasured possessions.
‘It means a great deal’: Disabled Air Force veteran in Wilmington’s stolen bike is found
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 11:43 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2022 at 12:21 PM EST

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - UPDATE: Kevin Hebert tells WECT that the his bike has been found. He says that a citizen of Wilmington saw the bike and went around to look for it, eventually discovering it at Suburban Studios Extended Stay Hotel. Hebert says the person who found it didn’t want a reward, and the person who stole the bike was taken by a police officer.

The original story continues below:

While a bicycle might not sound like a big deal, this specially made bike means the world to Kevin Hebert and he’s hoping the person who took it might have a change of heart.

Kevin Hebert has overcome many challenges in his life. 44 years ago, he served as a 19-year-old in the U.S. Air Force. His life changed forever when he suffered a broken neck, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.

”It seems like a long time ago because I’ve been able to accomplish a lot,” Hebert said.

Kevin learned how to walk while wearing leg braces and then took on another challenge when he wanted to learn how to ride a bicycle again, but not just any bike.

“It had grip bars that I could physically grip and get up and out of that seat by myself, which is a big independence for me,” Hebert said.

While out on rides with his family, Kevin Hebert loved to see people’s smiles and hear their comments about how neat the bike was.

That changed one morning when someone stole the bike from Hebert’s front door. While most bikes can be replaced, this one had a special meaning.

“I don’t have to be pushed around, I can get it in we can strap it we can go as a family and go bike riding that’s all I really want to do,” Hebert said.

Kevin and his family tried to find the stolen bike by jumping in the car and using the tracker he had placed on the bike, but had no luck.

Kevin has one message for the person who stole the bike: he just wants it to be returned so he can once again enjoy his independence.

“It means a great deal, whoever shows up, I’ll give them a hug, shake his/her hand and say thank you very much,” Hebert said.

While Hebert can order a new bike, the price tag is $2,500.

He says he doesn’t think the bike was stolen, but rather misplaced. If you have any information about the bike, you are asked to call the Wilmington Police Department at (910) 343-3600.