NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Officers with the New Port Richey Police Department helped a 25-year-old man by giving him a bicycle to get to and from work.
Jose Sanchez was working at the McDonald’s in the Southgate Shopping Plaza when someone stole his bicycle. It was only his sixth day on the job. Detectives said the burglar cut the lock to steal it.
Sanchez said the bicycle was the only way he could get to and from work. He moved to Florida about a month ago from Puerto Rico. He said he moved for a better life, which included paying off debt and providing for his mother who continues to live in Puerto Rico.
In Spanish, Sanchez told ABC Action News he likes his job and it’s the only thing he has here. He said he wanted to make sure he did everything in his power to stay employed.
For the next seven days, Sanchez walked a total of four hours each day to get to and from work. He said he stopped at gas stations along the way to drink water or Gatorade, and then he would keep walking.
Sanchez immediately reported the crime to the New Port Richey Police Department and they did more than search for the suspect. They reached out to Toys for Tots and were able to give him a new bike with a lock and a light.
“I just wanted to give kudos to our officers because if they hadn’t brought my attention to this than we never would have been able to get him his bike,” Detective Karen Norris said.
Sanchez told ABC Action News he was grateful for the generous gift. His commute is now down to 20 minutes to get to work.
Detective Norris said they are still searching for the bike thief. They said his name is Paul Musto. Norris said if he is caught, he will face a grand theft charge.