Marie Hartwell’s electric-assisted tricycle allowed her to exercise and get around Marysville until it was stolen last year.
Police recovered it in a severely damaged condition and worked with local businesses to repair and return it to Hartwell last month.
Hartwell lives with peripheral artery disease, diabetes and bone spurs in her hips.
Because of previous heart attacks and her health problems she can’t do most types of weight-bearing exercises, and the adult tricycle helps her stay active.
“It helps me because I get my exercise, but if I get too tired or have heart issues, I just turn the motor on,” and drive home, said Hartwell.
The device also helps her maintain her independence around town.
“Since I can’t drive anymore this allows me to go to the grocery store, go to my son’s house and babysit my grandson, and take care of things like that, without having my husband drive me,” she said.
However, late last year Hartwell had her tricycle stolen.
“I was devastated. We had a couple of car break-ins and they had stolen my mobility scooter the week before, and then they came and took this out of the back yard,” said Hartwell.
The electric assisted tricycle is fairly expensive and would be difficult to replace, she said.
Marysville Police Officer Seiya Kitchens responded to the initial call about the theft.
“He took the original theft report and had a strong feeling we would find it somewhere just because it was so unique that it stood out,” according to Marysville Police Department Commander Mark Thomas.
Officer Kitchens put together a briefing document that would eventually help retrieve the tricycle.
Marysville Police Officer Dan Vinson was on patrol when he spotted it.
“We had received bulletins on it so I immediately recognized it,” said Vinson. “The bike was traveling down 64th Street at about 35 miles per hour. The suspect was really flying because it was downhill."
However, when police recovered the tricycle it had been damaged.
“It was in really poor condition. The seat was missing. They had covered up portions of the bike with spray paint,” said Vinson.
The tricycle had been painted in many spots and the electronics were damaged.
“I went out to the property room, looked at the bike, met with Marie, and knew that returning the bike in that condition was not a win for anybody,” said Thomas.
Thomas reached out to the Marysville Bike Shop and Roy Robinson Subaru who agreed to repair and restore the tricycle.
“They brought it in and it had been damaged. The suspect had hotwired it to try to make it work,” said Jenny Olson, owner of Marysville Bike Shop.
Olson said they try to support different types of transportation and the community.
“Bad things happen and we usually try to help people as we can,” she said.
After the Marysville Bike Shop staff stripped the tricycle down, they sent it to Roy Robinson Subaru for a new paint job.
“I took all of the old white paint off and scuffed it all for the painter,” said Dan Winter, an employee with Roy Robinson Subaru.
“I took in on myself when it showed up at the dealership,” he said, adding he did a little bit of the work each night.
Afterward, the tricycle was brought back to Marysville Bike Shop to restore the electronics, which took a little longer than had been originally anticipated.
“The manufacturer was really behind on that little electronic component between the handlebars because of COVID,” said Thomas. “We were hoping to get it back to her by Christmas, then we were hoping by New Year.”
Instead, police officials and local businesses came together to return the tricycle on Feb. 26, about a week before Hartwell’s birthday.
She brought out cake and coffee to thank the community members for returning the tricycle.
“I really appreciate the Marysville Police Department, Roy Robinson Subaru and the Marysville Bike Shop,” she said.