Justin Connors inspects his maroon three-wheeler, looking for any damage it might have sustained during the five days it was out of his possession.
Save for a few scuff marks on the seat, the adult tricycle — which Connors, who has cerebral palsy, uses to run errands and get exercise — looks pretty much as it did before it was stolen from his family's backyard on Sunday.
"I was very surprised that they found it," the 20-year-old said as he sat inside the Division Three police station on Rymal Road East. "I thought they would have repainted it and sold it."
Picking up his ride wasn't his only reason for dropping by the station. Connors also showed up to thank everyone who made an effort to see the tricycle, which had been purchased three months earlier for $500, returned to its rightful owner.
The bike, he said, is key to his independence.
"I use it to exercise. I loosen my muscles. I start working out and get out there and go to 7-Eleven to get milk for my house and all that stuff. It's mainly for transportation instead of taking a cab."
Connors's older sister Natasha, he said, took to social media and contacted news outlets to raise the alarm about the theft.
"She got really pissed off when people stole my bike, because they were stealing from a disabled person," Connors said.
The callout inspired offers to replace Connors's wheels. There was even a company that said it would hook him up with a new tricycle of the same make and model.
Word eventually reached Leonard Wareing, owner of Mr. Used, a second-hand store on Barton Street East. A contractor showed him articles about the missing tricycle, which matched the description of an item Wareing purchased from a customer on Tuesday. Wareing contacted police.
Det. Const. Mike LaCombe, of the Hamilton police's pawn unit, lauds Connors and his family for reporting to missing bike to the media.
"If you're a victim of crime, if something is taken from you, you should report it to police, no matter how insignificant you think it may be," LaCombe said. "It may be a pattern in your neighbourhood. It may be that your property can be found quickly. But if you don't report it to the police, we can't try and look for it and find it for you."
That Connors's bike was a maroon adult tricyle didn't hurt either.
"It's a very unique piece of equipment, so it stands out."
LaCombe couldn't comment on the investigation, but added "there may be more information coming down in the near future."