ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — After Gabriel Osterhout had his bike stolen a few weeks ago, Kent’s Auto Body Shop, Maguire’s Subaru in Ithaca, and the Elmira community came together to help the teenager.
Gabriel is a 14-year-old from Elmira who also happens to have autism.
He was riding his bike one afternoon and forgot to lock it. When he returned, it was gone.
His father, John Osterhout, reached out on Facebook for help locating the missing bike.
Friends told him they saw the thefts and the location of the bike. Luckily, he was able to get it back, but not in the same condition.
“They stripped the basket and all of the fenders and spray painted it,” said John Osterhout.
Gabriel gave the thefts the benefit of the doubt
“They probably needed the money or something,” said Gabriel.
After hearing this news, Kent’s Auto Body Shop in Southport reached out and offered to repair the bike free of charge. Maguire’s Subaru in Ithaca also caught wind of the news and they decided to get a brand-new, customized bike for Gabriel.
On Apr. 3, he got it hand-delivered.
Gabriel also received many donations from the community to help fund for a new bike. But, he now has two bikes. One that is still being repaired by Kent’s Auto Body Shop and the new one from Maguire’s. So, Gabriel is deciding to not take the donations.
“We’re going to pass it forward because some people need that money more than I do right now, and I think somebody would really appreciate it,” said Gabriel.