As this week of Thanksgiving begins, one local woman is more than thankful for the community support she's received in the wake of loss.
"I’m so happy at what they did for me,” 83-year-old Gladys May Prieskorn said with tears in her eyes on Friday at the Beaumont Walmart, having been surprised with a brand new tricycle after hers was recently stolen.
The 83-year-old Prieskorn is not your average senior citizen. In fact, she gets out and about more than most people half her age-- riding a tricycle around town to take care of all her daily chores and attend church.
But three weeks ago, burglars cut the lock that was strapping it to her front porch on Cherry Avenue, and she awoke to find her transportation missing, and she was crushed.
That's why when Officer Lyndon Peats took this particular report of theft about three weeks ago from Prieskorn, he felt moved to take action.
"When I initially got that call, I decided to search the city for the bicycle," Peats told Banning-Beaumont Patch. "I didn’t find the bicycle so I decided, ‘you know what? Let’s get her a new bicycle.’"
According to the police department, they were able to use Walmart gift cards that the store had donated to make the purchase of the bike. The additional cost of shipping was paid for by Peats himself-- along with a new, stronger lock to keep this tricycle where it belongs.
“I was just really disgusted by the whole call," Peats said. "We get a lot of calls that come out, but that one really, really touched my heart."
Walmart store manager Nathan Stines says he, too, wanted to make sure Gladys was taken care of-- and arranged for the tricyle order and even paid for a new front basket for it out if his own pocket.