TRUMANN, AR (KAIT)
A Trumann police officer's good deed for a teen in his community has gone viral.
At the end of the day, though he didn't solve the crime, he sure fixed the problem.
"It was right here," Gerri Rochester said. "Chained up to this little old basketball goal of mine."
The 15-year-old Trumann girl pointed out to Region 8 News where her bicycle normally sits.
However, Gerri said when she went to get her bike to take to the store Thursday afternoon, it was gone.
Luckily for Gerri, Trumann Police Sergeant Chad Mason was dispatched to her home to take the report.
"Immediately speaking to them, I could see on their faces they were pretty distraught about the bicycle," Sgt. Mason said.
Distraught, not only because bike riding is one of Gerri's favorite things to do, but it's also how she gets to and from school.
"So I gathered their information for an incident report," Sgt. Mason said.
"And the officer was like, we'll go see if we can find a bike matching this description," Gerri explained.
"I knew the odds of finding their bicycle were slim to none," Sgt. Mason admitted to Region 8 News.
So instead, he did the next best thing and found a bike matching that description at Walmart.
"I actually called my wife and she was all for it," Sgt. Mason said.
Though Sgt. Mason said any Trumann Police Officer would have acted the same way, replacing Gerri's bike meant something more to the Mason family.
Earlier this year, the Trumann community helped raise money to buy a service dog for Sgt. Mason's son Cooper, who has Asperger’s.
"Just knowing that I could give back to my community... a community that's helped me so much...that was my opportunity," Sgt. Mason said.
While all this planning was going on though, the Rochester family thought the matter was likely over with and that they'd probably never see Gerri's bike again.
"They left, I went back inside to reading my book, Gerri went back inside to playing on the computer," Gerri's mom Kate explained.
However, Kate said no more than an hour later, there was a knock at the door.
"And there's Officer Mason again," Kate said.
This time though, he showed up with a bicycle that almost perfectly matched Gerri's stolen one.
"It's just a tad bit off of the green, other than that, it's the exact same bicycle," Kate said.
A fact that, evident by the look captured on Gerri's face when she got the bike ,was the furthest thing from her mind.
The Rochesters say Gerri's bike will remain inside now when she's not using it.
As for the photos that Trumann PD posted to their Facebook page, a little over 24 hours after the post, over 860,000 people were reached.
Trumann Police Chief Chad Henson told Region 8 News that they have received messages of gratitude from people in New York, Washington State and Australia.