Community steps in after Amsterdam boy with autism gets bike stolen

A boy from Amsterdam who has autism is learning just how far his community will go to help after his bike was stolen.

Aiden Cancel is back doing what he loves, riding his bike around Amsterdam.

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However, it was when he stopped to get a bite to eat with his dad a few weeks ago, that his bike was stolen.

Police posted about it on Facebook, and hundreds of people shared the post.

That’s when community members—local business owners and city employees—stepped up to not only get him a new, bigger e-bike—but also raise $800 cash and and a $400 check for Aiden, who recently turned 14.

It was presented to him last week at Amsterdam Police headquarters.

“Normally at the riverfront over there in the parking lot, cause it’s actually big and spacious and you can ride the bike there, and I like to ride it here too, cause it’s just like a straight line,” Aiden said, explaining his favorite spots around town and on his street to ride.

Aiden says his new goal is to find the longest street in Amsterdam so he can ride his bike on it.

Amsterdam Police are still looking for the person responsible. They were caught on surveillance video in the act, while Aiden and his dad were eating at McDonalds on Market Street on Sept. 1.  

The person has his whole face covered and police have not been able to identify who this may be. Police posted about the theft on their Facebook page—and it was shared hundreds of times with no leads so far.

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Officer Brian Dixon is handling the case for the Amsterdam Police Department. He says the fact that the community stepped in to get Aiden a new bike is a great example of people righting a wrong.

“As the police department, we try to be that first line of defense when it comes to negative activity in the community. But I think it speaks volumes when the community actually stands up and they let the other community members know, that don’t have the city’s best interests at heart, that that’s not what we’re going to stand for,” said Officer Dixon.

Aiden and his mother, Lydia Cancel, said they were surprised and thankful for the new bike, complete with lights and a lock.

“I just want to thank everyone that came forward, and did whatever they did for my son, I’m very, very, very grateful. Having him be happy is the most important thing for me,” Lydia said.

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