94-year-old gets new tricycle after heartless crime

Posted at 6:11 PM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 18:23:00-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFTS) — A 94-year-old St Petersburg man is back on three wheels! The community stepped in to help Richard Griffin after a brazen thieve snatched his motorized tricycle while he made a quick trip to pick up eye drops at CVS Pharmacy.

(Photo: St. Petersburg Police)

Now, the community has helped turn a heartless crime into a heartwarming gift.

Richard Griffin couldn’t contain his emotions while getting a first look at his new motorized tricycle.

“I am emotional right now. Don’t you see me crying?,” he said with a laugh.

43 checks poured into St. Petersburg Police Department from people across Tampa Bay for a grand total of $2,445.

“It’s just absolutely heartwarming,” Betty Battle, Griffin’s daughter said. “My dad told me, ‘I’m an old guy. They’re not going to care.’ Well, it’s just wonderful that people do care.”

It turns out, they care a lot! The donations ranged from $5 to $500.

Griffin doesn’t drive, so when his motorized tricycle was stolen on July 18 from the CVS at 4260 6th Street South, it left him without any way to run errands.

“Without a tricycle, I cannot get groceries. I have no freedom without it,” he explained.

Griffin, who turns 95 in less than a week, can’t stop grinning.

“How happy can one person get? Just happy!,” he exclaimed.

Griffin couldn’t wait to get outside and give his tricycle a spin! The new motorized tricycle has an added feature: a lock.

Detectives still need your help catching up to the brazen thief caught on the pharmacy’s security camera simply walking away with Griffin’s bike. St. Pete Police have received several tips. They assume the thief either dumped the bike or pawned it because it did not have a key. Griffin brought the key with him inside the pharmacy.