Community rallies to get new bike for elderly man after his was stolen

By  | 

ATOKA, Okla. (KXII) -- Earlier this month, someone stole an 81-year-old Atoka, Oklahoma man's only way to get around.

But when his community heard what happened, they geared up to help him out.

Lee Prater has Parkinson's Disease so he can't drive a car. Riding his bike is the only way he can get around town.

He put his $700 bike in the garage every night, but when he woke up one day, it was gone.

"I was really disappointed that somebody would take it," Prater said.

"We were both devastated. It took him a while for him to understand what I was trying to tell him, but I was just in tears trying to tell him that it was gone," said Delores Prater, Lee's ex-wife.

Hearing the news, people in Atoka started talking, trying to find him a new bike.

That's when a Stringtown, Okla. couple realized they had a brand new bike, sitting right in their store.

"We get liquidation items in and we really just don't know what's coming next, but we just happened to have one of those," Don Daniel said, who owns 4D Outlet in Stringtown.

A bike they happened to have turned out to be just like Prater's, so they donated it to him Friday.

"We just saw an opportunity to help somebody who had lost someone and been a victim of theft, and we hate to see that," Daniel said.

Prater got to try out his new bike, took it for a spin around the block and came back with a restored energy and smile.

"It's really hard to believe," Prater said.

His family said the community's kindness means a happier, healthier life for Prater.

"I can't thank people enough for doing this for him, I'm getting pretty emotional. I thank everyone that had a part in this, I surely do," Delores said.

"Thank you," Prater said.

Police said they're actively looking for the thief.

Read the original version of this article at