Church thief dashes legless man's dream

2012-06-09 12:35

San Francisco - A legless cancer survivor from Poland who planned to hand-pedal himself across the US, was forced to delay the start of his venture on Friday after his custom-made tricycle was stolen from a San Francisco church, police said.

Authorities said the specially designed three-wheeler that Krzysztof Jarzebski, 53, intended to ride about 4 800km to New York City was valued at $13 000.

Someone drilled through the locked gate of the rectory of the Polish Church of the Nativity, where Jarzebski was staying, and snatched the cycle from the stairway on Thursday, police said.

Authorities and Jarzebski's doctor, who travelled with him from Poland to San Francisco, appealed for the thief or thieves to return the cycle so the double amputee could begin his planned 300km/day trek.

"We're just praying for somebody to return this bike," the church's Reverend Tad Rusnak told Reuters. He said the Polish government paid for Jarzebski's trip and hoped he would establish a hand-pedaling record.

Dr Waldemar Zgoda, the cyclist's physician and friend, described him as a "famous champion", a former paralympian and a one-time commander in the Polish navy. Jarzebski speaks no English.

"They stole not just his bike, but his dream," Zgoda said in a telephone interview.

  • michael.a.devilliers - 2012-06-09 13:11

    Absolutely disgusting, luckily such a machine will be easy to find and hopefully the thief gets strung up for this.

  • Mtk.the.poet - 2012-06-09 13:15

    Blame it on Zuma

      jeffrey.jones.357 - 2012-06-09 13:48

      It was probably a South African living in SF that stole the bike. He will dismantle it and sell it for scrap.

      Mtk.the.poet - 2012-06-09 14:05

      Yes u know why, because only South Africans can steal

  • Jacky - 2012-06-09 15:34

    Hope somone ruins their lives

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