Stolen Bike Brings Community Together

By Adam Black

The Ashland Beacon

Like most children, Jayven Hamilton loves to ride his bike. In fact, neighbors regularly spot him riding in the Pollard area.

“It was the coolest bike I ever had,” Jayven said.

Jayven won the bike for perfect attendance at Crabbe Elementary School, and he has ridden it nearly every day since, but when Jayven woke up on Saturday morning, he couldn’t find his bike anywhere.

“Someone had come in the hours overnight and got the bike,” Breeanna Justice, Jayven’s mother said. “He is a grateful kid and didn’t ask me for another one, but instead blamed himself for leaving it out for the possibility of it being stolen.”

After Justice realized that the bike had been stolen, she contacted the Ashland Police Department and wrote a Facebook post about the situation.

“I went to Facebook as a long shot, with the possibility of it being found because I’ve seen good endings to bad things happen and shared on Facebook,” Justice said. “I definitely did not think the post would get that much attention, my phone has gone off all day and I’m more than thankful to everyone who shared and cared.”

As Justice hoped for a happy ending, residents of Ashland immediately jumped on the post and started sharing it on their personal Facebook pages. Cher Kiser, General Manager of Tri-State Pawn and Jewelry Inc. saw the post on Facebook and knew she had to do something.

“When I was a kid, I had the same thing happen to me,” Kiser said. “This kid had worked hard all year to win that bike and then for it to just be taken away wasn’t right.”

After sending Justice a message on Facebook, Kiser found a mutual friend on the social media site and asked them to inform Justice to check her inbox.

“If you’re not friends on Facebook with some people your messages go to a different inbox,” Kiser said. “After a few minutes his mom contacted me, and I told her I wanted to buy him a new bike.”

Once contact was made Kiser and Justice worked out a plan to meet at Walmart to get Jayven a new bike.

“I didn’t tell him until we were pulling into Walmart and he didn’t believe me,” Justice said.

Justice thought she was just meeting a good-Samaritan, but Jayven recognized Kiser.  Apparently, she has read to his class before.

“After seeing each other both seemed to click,” Justice said.

 Kiser told Jayven to pick out any bike he wanted and had a chain and keys to lock it up. Kiser also told Jayven’s brother to pick out a helmet.

“She was so nice. I just can’t even describe her kindness,” Justice said. “Both my boys were extremely happy.”

“I think it’s awesome! I love the bright color and that it’s an eight speed,” Jayven said. “Thank you very much. I love my bike.”

“To see his face when he picked out his bike meant the world to me,” Kiser said. “I didn’t do it for the recognition. I did it just because it was the right thing to do.”

While Kiser was the first to offer to purchase a new bike, she wasn’t alone.  Several other community members came forward with the same offer.

“Ashland is a great city. The things I have seen done daily for people warms my heart,” Justice said. “I didn’t want anyone to go out of their way. I’m so thankful especially for this community,” Justice said.

As a horrible day came to a happy ending for Jayven, he received one more surprise. Around evening when his bike was recovered by the Ashland Police Department.