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Billings community wants to replace little girl's stolen bicycle

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Posted at 11:39 PM, Mar 14, 2024

BILLINGS - A Billings family recently had a little girl's bike stolen and posted the incident on Facebook.

The bike was taken from a back porch in south Billings.

The family normally puts it away at night but things got a little bit busy.

The thief stole the bicycle around 3:30 in the morning last week.

"Honestly, I wasn't sure that it went missing,” said Emily Haaland. “My neighbor here next door to me, she has her video cameras set up. She texts me and I was appalled when I received that. Yeah, very, very upsetting."

Haaland says she waited until that evening to tell her daughter.

"That bike was super special,” Haaland said. “A really close friend of hers gave it and that was her memory with him."

The special bike makes this a tougher loss.

"We could have prevented this from happening but forgot it was outside and the inevitable happened,” Haaland said. “It was taken and just heartbreaking to know that people do those types of things still."

For privacy reasons, Emily did not want her daughter on camera.

And after posting the video on Facebook, several offered to give her a bike.

"It's really sad because these are children,” said Kathy Brunsvold. “And they shouldn't have to deal with that kind of loss and violation."

Brunsvold offered an extra bike that she says needs a little work.

As a little girl before her family moved to Billings, she had her bike stolen when she was about the same age as Emily's daughter.

"I was about eight or nine years old and had a brand new bike,” Brunsvold said. “Purple Stingray, the banana seat, high handlebars. I remember getting that as a gift. And I parked it on our porch to try to keep it safe and it was gone in a matter of minutes."

In the past, the Billings police have stated about 130 to 180 bikes are reported stolen in a year.

"It made quite an impact on me,” Brunsvold said. “ Yeah, I've never forgotten it."

"There are still some good people out in the world and we truly appreciate those that reached out to us," said Haaland.