Late father’s stolen bike is back home after pleas for return

Jennifer Vielhaber with her late husband Karl's recovered bike
Jennifer Vielhaber with her late husband Karl's recovered bike(kttc)
Published: Aug. 27, 2022 at 9:08 AM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – A family is rejoicing after their late father’s stolen bike was returned. The bike was stolen out of the family’s garage last week.

The bike belonged to Karl Vielhaber who died on August 13, 2022 from a brain tumor. He was diagnosed in April 2021. His family lived in Wisconsin for 18 years, but after word of Karl’s of diagnosis, they moved to Rochester to be closer to Mayo Clinic.

He had a custom Scott Spark RC 900 orange and black bike that he passed down to his 15-year-old son, as a way to let him know he would always be with him.

Karl’s wife Jennifer decided to make a Facebook post, asking for help with finding the bike. She said she didn’t anticipate the response it received. As of Saturday, it’s gotten nearly 3,000 shares.

Friday night at 10, someone rang the Vielhaber’s doorbell, Karl’s bike in tow. Jennifer says they were vague about how they found it, but she didn’t press. Just thanked them profusely.

“It means so much to us. Today marks 2 weeks since Karl passed,” Jennifer said. “When the people knocked on the door with the bike, and the kids and I walked outside, there was a huge shooting star across the sky. We hope Karl knows that he had something to do with it.”

The bike is damaged, it’s missing its seat, there are scratches and other parts missing. It also appears that the someone tried to remove the orange paint on it.

“Yes, it’s scratched and damaged, and we need to find someone who can fix it,” Jennifer said. “But it’s back, and that’s all that matters. This bike has brought us a lot of kindness and care from strangers. When we see the scars on this bike, it will serve as a reminder of this journey, and off all the kindness that came from it.”