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9-year-old has six bikes stolen; community steps up to help out family

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JOPLIN, Mo. – A 9 year old boy and a man in the Air Force stationed hundreds of miles away have developed a friendship of a lifetime over a stolen bike.

The family has had six bicycles stolen from their front yard in Joplin, in only three and a half years. This last time, people took notice and stepped up to help. Elijah Evans made a Facebook post, just hoping someone might see it and help get the bike back, but he got so much more. A Joplin native in the Air Force, stationed in North Carolina, made a GoFundMe and raised enough money to buy him a new bike.

“I was very happy and when I found out it was going to be here Wednesday, I was so happy, then Mr. Nathan contacted my dad and told him it’d be here even earlier and I got even more excited.”

Elijah Evans, Victim

“I immediately thought, man that’s awful, it’s one of those things that caught me and I remember being a kid and riding my bike, that was the number one thing, I’d hop on my bike and be gone for hours.”

Nathan Stripling, Bought New Bike

Elijah’s dad says he’s in disbelief that this all came together. He said he’s so thankful for the blessing it’s been for his family.

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Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.