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Texas community comes together to return veteran's bike after it was stolen outside restaurant

After 97-year-old David Silvas' bicycle was stolen from the front of a San Angelo restaurant, offers to replace the bike started flooding in.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — UPDATE: On Wednesday night, San Angelo community members noticed a man with what appeared to be David Silvas' bike. 

The couple, who Tarin said were Rosy and Isreal, approached the man and asked for the bike back, but he wanted $50 in exchange. The couple didn't take no for an answer, nor did they pay the $50.

Eventually, the bike was returned to Silvas, who can continue to use his new ride. 

Credit: Rachel Tarin

ORIGINAL STORY: It can be said that West Texans step up to help their community and this week, that became apparent after an unfortunate event.

97-year-old David Silvas rode his new bicycle to a restaurant on South Chadbourne, just up the road from his home Tuesday, to grab a bite to eat. When the World War II veteran came back outside to leave, he saw his bicycle had been stolen. 

A police report was filed, then his daughter, Rachel Tarin, posted about the theft on Facebook. That post was shared more than 430 times, including a plea from the San Angelo Chief of Police, Frank Carter, asking for help finding the bike.

What happened after that, Tarin said, has been overwhelming. Numerous San Angelo residents have come forward and offered to replace Silva's stolen bike, which he only had for a short time.

They had planned to place a GPS on the bike this weekend, because he had two stolen from him previously, but the theft halted that plan.

This has been a rough year for Silvas, Tarin said. Always the picture of health, Silvas suffered a heart attack in March and has rallied back to the amazement of his doctors. 

"All of his doctors are so amazed with him," Tarin said.

She said her father knows so many people in San Angelo and said despite the setbacks, he is happy and healthy.

"My dad is a good man, he doesn't bother anybody," she said. 

After seeing the overwhelming support from the community for her dad, Tarin said, "I cried so much yesterday and today. We're so blessed. It's been emotional."

She said her father would forgive those who stole the bicycle, saying "They needed it more than I did."

Tarin said she will provide updates for the community that has pledged overwhelming support to help her dad out.

I’m so angry 😡 I have to tell you that my 97 year old father’s brand new bike was stolen from outside of Paisanos...

Posted by Cayetano Tarin on Tuesday, September 20, 2022

My friend, Mr. Silvas,had his new bike stolen yesterday around 5:30pm (9-21-22) yesterday. He stopped to eat on his way...

Posted by Frank Carter on Wednesday, September 21, 2022

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