San Francisco News

Thief steals Special Olympian's bike outside church

Thursday, June 07, 2012

There was supposed to be a goodwill mission taking off from San Francisco this week. It was a cross-country bicycle trip with international implications. However, in the city Thursday morning, a theft took place that has caused a man from Poland to change his plans.

Every day in the city, people return to their bicycles, only to find them missing or stolen. It is never easy for anyone, but for Krzystof Jarzebski, the loss of a bike borders on calamity.

Someone cut a hole through the front entrance at the Church of the Nativity in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, where he has been staying. All that effort to take a bike most people would never have the strength to ride.

Jarzebski said through a translator, "I am a sportsman, I have problems, but I win." He is Polish, along with friend, translator, and doctor, Vladimar Zgoda, M.D. He is a Special Olympian who powers the bike with his hands on long distance journeys. Jarzebski had planned to leave, Thursday morning, on a cross-country trip to raise awareness about the cancer that took both of his legs.

"They cut his legs part by part. [It took] eight operations. He passed chemo and radio therapy," said Zgoda.

Then, the thief stole his dream from the church's front porch.

Jarzebski's missing bike is worth $10,000. Clearly, without it, or one like it, he clearly won't be making that cross country trip, but he is still making plans.

"He plans to [do a] marathon on a two wheel bicycle," said Zgoda.

Tomorrow morning, Jarzebski intends to ride a wheelchair a marathon distance through the city.

"He will try to pass this distance, and win!" said Zgoda.

Cancer can rob a man of his legs, a thief can steal his wheels, but Jarzebski still has his heart.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the bicycle or a possible suspect is asked to call Sgt. Victoria Sullivan with the department's Northern Station investigations team at (415) 614-3465.

Police have released a photo of the bike, which has a distinctive sponsor sticker on its side with the letters "AZSLODZ."

People wishing to remain anonymous can call the department's tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
bikes, crime, hayes valley, san francisco news, wayne freedman
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