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Thief snatches 9-year-old girl's hard-earned bike in Mission Beach

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Posted at 4:12 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 20:47:51-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - An Arizona family is on the hunt for clues after a heartbreaking bicycle theft during their vacation in San Diego.

Cellphone video shows an excited Charlie McTheny receiving her new mountain bike from her dad in January. But the bike wasn't a gift. For a good year — cooped up too often because of the pandemic — Charlie, 9, was busy saving $650 dollars for the bike, money received from her birthday, Christmas, and making good grades.

“Getting a bike would mean I get to spend time outside. I get to go riding with my dad a lot. He’s always on his mountain bike,” said Charlie.

“We were incredibly proud she did that .. She saved for so long.,” said Charlie’s mother, Nicole McTheny.

McTheny says when her daughter finally got her bike, she rode it daily. And of course, when her family went on their first vacation since the pandemic, Charlie brought along her new bike.

But on Thursday morning, the bike was gone.

“In that horrible parent moment, you look at each other and say, ‘How are we going to tell her this?’” said McTheny.

The thief had cut a lock the family used to tie up five bikes together outside the Mission Beach condo they are renting. Charlie's bike was the only one taken.

When she did find out, it was an emotional moment.

“I cried a lot … I felt really sad, because I’ve been saving up all the money, and someone just decides to take it,” said Charlie.

It’s an act Charlie is hard-pressed to understand.

“It's not nice to steal things from people. If someone stole something from them, I don’t they wouldn't like it either,” said McTheny.

But this theft won't get her down for long. She’s already planning on saving for another bike. She hasn’t given up hope to recovery her bike. She made this plea to the thief.

“I would really like them to give it back to me, because I really, really liked that bike,” she said.

Charlie’s parents say they'll likely get Charlie another bike. The stolen bike is a black-and-red colored Specialized Rockhopper 27.5.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call San Diego Police at 619-531-2000.