PATERSON, NJ – A Paterson teenager is devastated after working to save money for a bike before it was stolen.
Fifteen-year-old Vitzie Salce has spent the past two years designing and selling arts and crafts. Bags are $10, keychains $4.
The money saved was used to buy a used mountain bike to ride to the park with his family.
“I sold to neighbors and friends at school and all over my dad’s baseball field,” Vitzie told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
Vitzie is on the autism spectrum, but her mother, Raquel Amador, says the high schooler is more than aware that she has to work hard for what she wants, which is why the family was appalled when a man jumped the fence in their yard. 2 and stole the $150 bike.
“He came, he took the bike, he threw it over the fence and got away,” Amador said.
Residents say they saw the thief locking down the neighborhood that night, trying to open car doors. When someone chased him away, he climbed into the Amador yard.
“It was their place. And now the fact that anyone can come in, even though we have the front closed and the back closed… Who’s really going to stop now, if they can come in and take this what do you want and you’re leaving?” Amador said.
Since the burglary, the family has installed a wooden pallet on top of their fence and no longer let the children play alone outside.
“I was scared. Both scared and sad at the same time,” Vitzie said.
“We don’t want to live in a neighborhood or an area or anywhere in the world where you’re disrespected, where what you work for is taken away from you,” Amador said.
A simple concept, she says, that her 15-year-old daughter understands, but not the adults in her community.
Amador says that because the theft was of such a small sum, she did not file a complaint with the police, but there have already been two offers from her family and the community to replace her daughter’s bike.