There are plenty of stories about the power of social media and the kindness of online strangers, especially towards victims of injustice. But this might be the most unlikely and unexpectedly inspiring one of them all.
When a motorbike was stolen in Mission, Canada last week, the victims turned to Facebook…and inspired an incredible change of heart.
Bobby Dumaresq had recently purchased a Yamaha 80cc motorbike for his kids. It was an older, used bike, but it was the perfect first bike for his eight-year-old son, Bobby, who was just learning to ride.
“When I got it, it was broken, and then I put it into the shop and got it all fixed up for them for Christmas,” Dumaresq told Global News.
Dumaresq and his girlfriend Mel Flesher were heartbroken to wake up one morning and find out that the bike had been stolen, right from in front of their apartment complex.
But the hardest part was knowing how the kids would react.
“I was shocked,” Flesher told Global News. “And then I was sad, because I knew the kids were going to be disappointed when we told them.”
Flesher took to Facebook to express her frustration about the robbery—and she implored the neighborhood to keep a lookout, in the hopes that maybe someone would identify the bike and they could reclaim it from the thieves.
She could never have imagined what would happen next.
Soon after posting her Facebook plea, Flesher woke up one morning and found something shocking:
The bike was back, like nothing had happened.
In fact, it was better than ever: it had a full tank of gas, a brand new lock…and a mysterious note, attached to the side of the bike in a plastic bag.
She read the letter, which made it clear how the bike had returned:
“Well we should start by saying sorry for stealing your son’s bike…”
The bike thieves had seen Flesher’s post on Facebook. Evidently when they took the bike, they thought it belonged to someone older who no longer needed it (although they concede that wasn’t an excuse).
After learning the truth, they felt guilty that they had stolen from a child and wanted to do the right thing.
They even gave a tip on how to prevent the bike from being stolen again: take the keys out.
“I know we aren’t really in a place to give advice,” the surprisingly introspective criminals wrote, “but the heartbreak your son must have felt upon discovering his bike missing should never be relived.”
The victims couldn’t believe the turn of events!
“I was just blown away,” Dumaresq told Global News.
The family seem to harbor no ill feelings towards the “regretful teenagers who learned their lesson via restorative justice” (as the thieves signed their letter), and are just happy the kids made the right decision—and hopefully, learned something from the experience.
“We forgive you and hope this taught you a lesson,” Flesher wrote in a follow-up Facebook post. “We drove around for hours last night talking to all kinds of people about the bike.
“Thank you for showing kindness and doing the right thing!”